Orlando, FL, April 1, 2021 â€“ As part of a U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Outreach Grant, the Water Sports Foundation (WSF) has just completed the first phase and launch of its new â€œNational Boating Safety Media Centerâ€ which is designed to facilitate and support the work of journalists assigned to cover boating safety topics.
Housed within a dedicated section on the Water Sports Foundationâ€™s new website (www.watersportsfoundation.com/media/), the National Boating Safety Media Center was built to modern standards with a responsive layout and easy navigation. It features nearly 300 pieces of content over 54 different categories; a robust image library featuring 48 photo galleries containing 565 high resolution, royalty-free photos and 77 videos/b-roll; press materials, blogs and social media content; graphics; statistical data and reports; information regarding national boating safety and educational programs; plus a roster of boating safety experts available for media interview.
â€œOur primary goal was to create a convenient, one-stop shop for journalists that provides instant access to credible resources, materials and data pertaining to boating safety,â€ said Water Sports Foundation Executive Director Jim Emmons. â€œOur new site is full of outstanding content provided by our association and dozens of boating safety stakeholders. Weâ€™re excited by the quality and quantity of materials available and are excited to partner with our industry colleagues to actively promote boating safety.â€
Said Verne Gifford, Chief of the Division of Boating Safety for the U.S. Coast Guard, â€œWith the recent surge in the number of boaters in America, the entire recreational boating safety community, including the Coast Guard, is looking for this project to elevate boating safety awareness. We couldnâ€™t be more excited about the possibility that Americaâ€™s national media will be placing more emphasis on consumer boating safety content at time when we need it the most.â€
A team of veteran marine journalists and publicists contributed to site development and design.
â€œOur team conducted a comprehensive search of available boating safety content to see how easy it was for journalists to access relevant and current data and information,â€ said WSF Communications Director Wanda Kenton Smith, a national marketing columnist and former consumer magazine editor. â€œWe realized quickly that while there is a plethora of content out there, it was not well organized or easy to find. Recognizing the deadline constraints many journalists face, we designed and built our media center for working journalists to expedite and simplify the process.
â€œWe strategically threw out a wide net and invited all segments of the recreational boating industry to submit appropriate content for this site,â€ she added. â€œDozens of industry stakeholders provided materials, and we are so pleased by the positive response to date. Next on the agenda is a national media outreach campaign to promote a variety of boating safety messages, with the new website serving as the cornerstone of this exciting effort.â€
Added Jeff Moag, former editor of Canoe & Kayak magazine and current WSF content director, â€œThe new National Boating Safety Media Center is the most comprehensive online resource for journalists covering the full spectrum of stories relating to boating safety, from breaking news to lifestyle features and in-depth trend stories. Reporters and producers will appreciate the quality of materials available, along with the list of expert sources who can articulate the finer and the broader points of boating safety.â€
About the Water Sports Foundation
Headquartered in Orlando, FL, the Water Sports Foundation is the non-profit educational arm of the Water Sports Industry Association. The National Boating Safety Media Center is produced under a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information contact the WSF at 407-719-8062 or visitÂ www.watersportsfoundation.com