US excavation industry works hard to promote dial-before-you-dig

Dial before you dig services can only be really effective with widespread awareness. While awareness will be high amongst businesses that make their living digging up the earth - for whatever reason, it's a much greater challenge to ensure that every citizen with a plot of earth to their name and the temptation to dig a hole in it, again for whatever reason, is fully aware of the dangers of doing so and the means to avoid them.

In the US a great deal of effort goes into raising awareness of dial-before-you-dig services. Every year the Common Ground Alliance, a body created specifically to work with all industry stakeholders in an effort to prevent damage to underground utility infrastructure, organises a National Safe Digging Month, a time when all Common Ground Alliance stakeholders come together to communicate how important it is that professionals and homeowners alike call 811 (the Federally mandated dial-before-you-dig number) and follow the safe digging process to help prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages. The 2014 National Safe Digging Month will be April.

To assist the campaign CGA has created a full suite of tools - ads, news releases, grassroots marketing programs and more. It provides code that can be embedded into the source code of any web page so the National Safe Digging Month message appears on that page and it provides a full suite of tools that members can download and use to get the message across.

The suite includes sample letters that can be sent to state governors soliciting their support in the form of a proclamation, and draft letters that the governors can use to express their support. There are sample of columns that can be submitted to local newspaper, details of previous promotional campaigns run by a wide variety of organisations, draft press releases, suggestions for messages that local fire stations can display on large sign boards, graphics and much more.

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