SPREAD THE WORD
8 OUT OF EVERY 10 BOATERS WHO DROWN WERE IN BOATS LESS THAN 21 FEET IN LENGTH.
How to talk about Boat Live 365®
Regardless of how you choose to spread the word, consider these key points:
- Boat Live 365 is bigger than a campaign. It is a movement that empowers recreational boating advocates to create a safe boating culture 365 days a year.
- Our goal is to provide proven resources and public outreach materials to help lower the rate of boating accidents, incidents and fatalities nationwide.
- This is a collaboration between the U.S. Coast Guard and United States Power Squadrons.
- We are currently offering advocacy materials on the following key areas of interest:
When speaking about Boat Live 365, it’s important not to abbreviate the name, especially in the first year of this initiative. Always use the full term, Boat Live 365. Never use BL365 or just Boat Live.
Our words are important. “Boat,” sets the stage for our conversation. “Live,” like alive, communicates our desire to save lives. And “365” emphasizes the importance having this conversation year-round. So say it all, and say it loud: Boat Live 365!
There are a couple of focus lines used throughout our materials.
- Boating is Serious Fun. This line can be used to spark conversation, as a heading to a promotional piece or as a closing line.
- Creating a Safe Boating Culture 365 Days a Year. This line can be used in conjunction with “Boating is Serious Fun” or on its own to describe our initiative.
Starter Tips to Ignite Change
Social Media, Meet the Real World
Social media is a great way to communicate your message, but it’s the message that matters most. Make sure you answer YES to these questions for every post, comment or real-world conversation:
- Did I clearly state the issue?
- Did I clearly communicate where to find a solution?
- Did I offer Boat Live 365 as resource?
Remember that consistency is key with any message in any channel.
Think Small and Go Big
Do you know someone who has been impacted by a boating safety incident? To whom would this initiative matter most? Remember that movements are started by few and grown by many. Start connecting on a local level and build within your community. Simply gathering 15 people and empowering them to head in the right direction can make an impact.
Know Your Stuff from Bow to Stern
You can’t make a difference if you fake it. Nobody is suggesting you need to be an expert in all boating safety areas, but you should be able to provide knowledge on where to find Boat Live 365 resources, what the critical problems are for each boating safety issue and what solutions we’ve provided to support change. We understand there will be safety topics that mean more to you than others, but please, don’t forget that learning about all safety topics are critical to our success. Together, let’s save lives 365 days a year.
Download this talking points card for a quick guide!
Talk About It
With your neighbors, your colleagues, members of your congregation, your staff or clients, start a regular conversation by asking a simple question …
Have you ever taken a boating safety course? And see where that takes you.
Dive Into the Conversation
When you see articles or blog posts on a particular boating safety topic that interests you, consider commenting. Here are some helpful tips:
- Share your personal experiences on the topic, use real world examples
- Remember to speak to others with respect
- Provide facts and statistics from reliable sources, many of which you will find here on our site
- Make your point compelling enough to stimulate discussion, but succinct enough for readers to pay attention
- Stay composed. If you are pointing out a disagreement, do so professionally
- Don’t react to every comment. Ignore obvious attempts to stir up controversy or inject hostility; stay on message
- Always remember the internet is public, not private. Never include private information about yourself, other individuals or a company that may show up in a search engine if it is not already public information or validated by sourced data.
Let’s Get Social
Boat Live 365 launched this resource site along with Facebook. As we continue to bring additional resources online, we will continue to expand our social media outreach to include Twitter and Instagram.
Keep in mind, the idea is to share our message that “Boating is Serious Fun” and help make our waters safer for everyone. So, just because Boat Live 365 doesn’t post on Twitter today, doesn’t mean you can’t share our message there or on Instagram.
Social Media Tips
- Make sure you’re connected to our Facebook page and actively participating in the Boat Live 365 conversation. Feel free to like or comment on our posts and share with your peers or partners. The more active and connected we are, the further our message will reach. Remember to “tag” relevant organizations and partners by using their designated handle. Ours is @boatlive365. Others you may want to include in your posting might be @USCGAux and @USPowerSquadrons. If you want to connect with a specific topic or story, it’s best to organize your hashtag strategy before posting. A few hashtags we recommend adding if you are posting through Twitter: #safeboating, #boatingsafety, #boatlive365 (which will be active once we engage our Twitter channel), and any hashtag that belongs to the safety topic you’re communicating (i.e., #wearit). If you are creating a custom hashtag for your event, try to keep it below 10 characters and make sure it’s not too generic or already used by another campaign. If you’re posting on Twitter, remember to keep your message under 280 characters.
- Consider the timing and frequency of your posting, and make sure you’re posting relevant, quality content. This is not a numbers game. Think quality over quantity. Having said that, here are some frequency guidelines.
- Facebook – 1x per day
- Twitter – 5-10 x per day
- LinkedIn – 1x per day
- Instagram – 1-2 x per day. More importantly be consistent in posting frequency, pick a number per week and stick to it!
- Pinterest – 3-5x per day
>> Don’t forget to you use auto schedulers to do this posting work for you! And, under the Boat Live 365 topic, we’ve provided lots of graphic stats in the resource library to help make your posts engaging.
- Keep post content clear and simple, but make it interesting! Use photos and short videos as much as you can, the more original the better.
- Always include a call to action. If you want them to share, ask for it. If you want a like, ask for it! If you want them to visit Boat Live 365 … you get the point.
- Download our social content bank for easy pick up and share!
National Maritime Day – Maritime Day is a time-honored tradition that recognizes one of our country’s most important industries.
June 1 – 9
National Fishing and Boating Week – highlighting the importance of recreational boating and fishing.
Sun safe boating month – the average boater spends 5.7 hours on the water per outing, stay protected from the sun to minimize the risks
Download our social content bank for easy pick up and share!
To truly spread the Boat Live 365 message, please make a concerted effort to discuss and promote all of the “Serious Fun Topics” together, all year long.
Sort and search our library for more resources on a variety of boating safety topics.