The Waite Company (TWC) provides education and outreach services to the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNM HSC) and has been doing so in various ways since 2012. In 2016, UNM HSC partnered with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and other various law enforcement, government, and community organizations, to launch the New Mexico HOPE (Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education) Initiative. The program was launched in response to the high number of drug overdose-related deaths in New Mexico and included a robust law enforcement effort, prevention and education methods, treatment improvements and service availability, reentry, and strategic planning. As the public relations and strategic communications vendor, TWC worked with many agency leaders from across the state to design educational materials and promote awareness of key message points. TWC worked alongside agency staff to produce event invites and announcement materials, newspaper ads, media events, high school educational events, community speaking events, outdoor advertising, and the initiative’s website and blog. TWC created the original logo and branding and, through advisement, assisted in the structural setup of the partnership that provided for approval and collaboration mechanisms to protect the HOPE brand.
The need for this public service campaign in New Mexico, was, and still remains, great. In 2016, Director Michael Botticelli from the White House Drug Control Policy traveled to the state to announce that the Obama administration was providing $1.1 billion in new funding to attack the epidemic that was hitting hard nationwide, and in a particularly devastating way, in New Mexico. In 2015, more New Mexicans died of drug overdoses than the death toll of vehicle accidents and homicide gun deaths combined. Sadly, New Mexico leads the nation in deaths caused by overdose of opioid drugs, both prescription opioids and heroin (Albuquerque Journal, 2016). And according to the New Mexico Department of Health, New Mexico has the 2nd highest drug overdose death rate in the United States.
The launch of this public service campaign began in October 2015 and ended in February 2017.
- Logo Design
- Web Design