Be Safe Public Awareness Campaign

Empowerment Through Awareness: The Be Safe Campaign’s Commitment to Reduce Domestic Violence

The Be Safe Public Awareness Campaign emerged from an observation by a dedicated philanthropist. While being a part of the fundraising campaign for Golden House, this person noticed a lack of awareness about the free resources that Golden House provides for domestic violence victims.

They wondered if people hesitate to call a national number for help. Would a local number help connect more people to the local help available, they asked. This question sparked a journey to spread awareness about the resources and support available for victims of domestic violence. 

The community rallied together to fill in the public awareness gaps and highlight local support in Brown County, Wisconsin. This collaborative spirit led to the comprehensive Be Safe Public Awareness Campaign, specifically designed to direct victims and their friends and family to nearby, accessible support to empower them to take actionable steps toward safety and recovery.

This success story dives into the collective undertaking led by O’Connor Connective and Golden House to bring this public awareness campaign to life, significantly increasing community engagement and support for victims of domestic violence.

Challenge: Illuminating the Path to Support

The challenge was multifaceted: raise awareness of the resources available for and encourage active engagement with these services. Many victims, trapped in cycles of abuse, often remain silent due to uncertainty about the available support systems. The Be Safe Campaign sought to bridge this gap, providing hope and tangible solutions for those in need.

Without awareness of Golden House’s free services, victims had few places to turn. This was the main challenge tackled with this campaign. And it’s a challenge many businesses, especially nonprofits, struggle with—if people don’t know about you, you can’t serve and help them. It also aligns with our company’s mission:

“Our collaboration with the Be Safe Campaign exemplifies our mission to offer strategies that not only communicate but resonate with community-minded leaders and their organizations,” said Bridget O’Connor, CEO and President of O’Connor Connective. “It’s about seeing the possibilities, connecting the dots, and then, most importantly, taking action to create real change.”

Solution: Engineering Empowerment Through Awareness

One of the goals of this project, and many others, is to build a strong foundation so others can build off it to achieve greater success. To begin, we followed our Strategy That Communicates Process and started with the first step, Discovery. Through creative brainstorming and market research, we ideated a public awareness campaign using an easy-to-remember phone number and website.

BE SAFE - website home

We also began recruiting partners, which the philanthropist and visionary behind the project keenly realized would activate community-wide action. We managed these relationships and held bi-monthly calls to activate the partners. What started with a handful of partners has now reached over 30!

Partners of Be Safe Campaign
Partners of Be Safe Campaign as of 2023

Next was Messaging. We decided on the phone number and developed key messages for the campaign, like “Abuse can happen. We are here. We can help.” The next step was to define the brand/identity of this campaign.

We understood the victims’ extreme sensitivity and desire to remain anonymous. This presented a challenge for how we would design the campaign without showing the faces of the victims. We decided to use illustrations and sketches of women and men. This would keep the confidentiality of the victims while presenting the diversity of those affected by domestic violence. 

We engaged an illustrator who works for Pixar Animation Studios to create the illustrations and bring our creative vision to life. We also worked with bilingual advocates from Golden House to translate the message into Hmong and Spanish. This established a distinct brand for the campaign and made it more accessible, resulting in a 26% increase in calls to Golden House.

Be Safe campaign billboard

“Each step we took was guided by the belief that words matter, and creative engagement can catalyze real-world impact,” Bridget O’Connor reflected. “The impact of the Be Safe Campaign is a testament to the power of strategic communication and partnerships to advance communities.”

The Power of Collaboration: Executing the Plan

Through steps four and five of our process, Planning and Implementing, we leaned on the partners to help solve the original challenge of low awareness. After using the new brand to develop a plan, a website filled with resources, and digital ads, we continued recruiting others to help advance this campaign.

More than 30 businesses, government entities, and organizations collaborated to support and promote the Be Safe campaign by sharing messages in newsletters, social media, videos, billboards, posters, and more. These partnerships generated incredible ideas for furthering the campaign.

Green Bay Police Chief Chris Davis became involved in the campaign early on. After the campaign launched in October 2022, Davis came up with the idea to apply bright red stickers to the department’s vehicles with the Be Safe hotline, turning the cars into moving billboards. Other police departments, including the St. Norbert College Campus Safety Department, followed suit.

“Seeing the community rally around this cause, sharing our message, and truly becoming a part of the solution was inspiring,” said Cheeia Lo, Executive Director of Golden House. “It’s a powerful reminder that together, we can reach higher and shine brighter, making a tangible difference in the lives of those we serve.”

Other examples of partners sharing the campaign message include: 

  • Bellin Health placed posters in 350 exam rooms during April 2023. 
  • WFRV aired a media spot promoting the campaign 478 times between October 2023 through mid-March 2024 (and that number keeps growing!).
  • The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay included information about the campaign in its escalation workshops, which 154 university athletes attended. 
  • iCare shared campaign messaging in its staff newsletter (300 employees) and member newsletter (48,000 subscribers). 
  • Green Bay Metro added Be Safe posters to its buses.
  • The Day Spa shared information about the campaign in its changing rooms.
  • Prevea Health included the Be Safe message on video monitors in their clinic lobbies and included Be Safe team members in the annual Implicit Bias Conference.
  • St. Norbert College integrated the campaign in student communications

Along with those contributions came financial support from four entities: Packers Give Back, Bellin/Gundersen Health, Prevea Health, and Brown County. Without the financial support and partners sharing the message, we couldn’t have created such an impactful campaign.

One of our values is connecting the dots. This campaign was a prime example of putting that to work. The real success came from the collaborations that helped the campaign go further than any one organization could alone.

Forward Together: The Be Safe Campaign’s Next Chapter

As we transition the coordination and management of the Be Safe Campaign to Golden House, we do so with confidence in the foundation we’ve built together and with the community partners. This initiative illustrates what’s possible when communities unite under a shared vision of safety and support.

“O’Connor Connective is honored to have been the creative force behind this impactful project,” Bridget stated. “As we look forward, we remain committed to our vision of being the partner of choice in the advancement of communities. The Be Safe Campaign is an example of what we can achieve together. What are you hoping to achieve? How might this example inform your actions?”

Take a Stand: Joining the Be Safe Movement

The Be Safe Campaign continues to welcome new partners eager to make a difference. If your organization wishes to join this vital initiative, we invite you to reach out. Together, we can continue to make an impact, ensuring that every individual facing domestic violence knows they are not alone. To get involved, visit the campaign partner page:

Connect with Us:

To explore how O’Connor Connective can help amplify your cause or campaign, we offer a few easy ways to get started:

  • Fill out our contact form: Ready to share your vision? Let us know your goals and how we can assist. Click here to complete the contact form to start a conversation
  • Email Us: Prefer a direct line of communication? Email us at with your inquiries, ideas, or project details, and our team will respond promptly.
  • Learn More: Read about our other successful campaigns and other articles on our blog. Click here to read.

In every word and every strategy, O’Connor Connective is your partner in creating a safer, brighter future for all. Reach out today to start your journey toward meaningful change.

O’Connor Connective – Communicating Strategy for Impactful Results