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FACT SHEET:  Ready Campaign Update


Launched on February 19, 2003, the "Ready" Campaign is a national public service advertising campaign designed to educate and empower American citizens to prepare for and respond to potential terrorist attacks and other emergencies.  The Ad Council declared it one of the most successful campaign launches in its 62-year history.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Ad Council have secured many strategic partnerships to help disseminate "Ready" campaign messages and materials:


  • A two-page insert in more than 550 million Yellow Pages directories courtesy of the Yellow Pages industry; this partnership enables 98% of US households to have life-saving information at their fingertips
  • The US Postal Service distributed 10 million brochures in 35,000 post offices nationwide
  • The Salvation Army volunteered to distribute 2 million brochures in more than 9,000 retail stores
  • The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) encouraged all TV and radio stations to donate a substantial amount of airtime to the Ready Campaign PSAs while providing their stations with multiple satellite feeds of the television PSA's
  • The National Cable & Telecommunications Association made the PSAs available to their member stations and has fulfilled multiple requests for tapes
  • The Outdoor Advertising Association of America donated the equivalent of $17 million dollars in outdoor space in 2003, including a highly visible board in Times Square
  • DHS and The Boy Scouts of America are partnering with 50 Minor League baseball teams and have distributed more than 50,000 "Ready" brochures to date at baseball games


Measures of success:  Media & Public Relations  

  • The "Ready" Campaign has generated $205 million in donated media support (radio, TV, print, etc.) to date
  • More than 113 million people saw or read about the "Ready" Campaign at launch. The launch generated more than 1,700 stories in media outlets


Measures of success:  Website

  • As of March 31, 2004, the website has received more than 1.7 billion hits, an estimated 18.7 million unique visitors, 28 million total visits, and nearly 2.9 million brochures have been downloaded from the site.


Measures of success:  Toll-free number

  • As of March 31, 2004, the toll-free number, 1-800-BE-READY, has received 191,390 calls and more than 198,000 brochures (single quantity requests) have been requested;
  • In many cases, requests have been made for multiple brochures; sometimes even in quantities ranging in the thousands.  To date, an additional 478,757 brochures have been requested in multiple numbers.


Awareness, Attitudes & Behaviors

  • While it is too early to see the long-term effects of the Ready Campaign on society, increases in preparedness awareness and education as well as changes in attitudes and behaviors will continuously be measured.  A national tracking survey -- based on a pre-launch benchmark -- was completed in Feb. 2004.


  • In the months following the campaign launch, there was a sharp spike in public awareness messages about "steps you can take to protect your family in the event of a terrorist attack." Awareness levels peaked to approximately 70% in April-June 2003.
  • There have been several significant shifts in preparedness behaviors over the past year:
    -- Stocked emergency supplies to prepare for the possibility of a terrorist attack:  26% to 33%.
    -- Compared to the general public, certain segments of the population have done more in the past year to prepare. Parents of children under 18 recognized the largest increase, from 28% in 2003 to 40% in 2004.
    -- Called a toll-free number or visited a website to find relevant information: 5% to 10%.


The tracking survey results suggest that the Ready Campaign has made significant headway on a challenging issue.  Some results are especially encouraging given the fact that this is only the first year of the campaign -- and also given the fact that many Americans remain unconcerned about the possibility of terrorism in their local community.


Looking Ahead

In his speech marking the one-year anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Tom Ridge announced the Department will add to the strength of the existing Ready Campaign by launching two new citizen preparedness endeavors -- Ready for Business and Ready for School -- by the end of 2004.


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