CPSC Goes Social:  Online Media Strategies Keep Consumers Informed of Safety Issues

September 23, 2009 | In keeping with its commitment to protect the lives of children and families, and as a follow-up to comments by Chairman Inez Tenenbaum during her hearing before a House Energy and Commerce Committee CPSC Oversight Hearing on September 9, 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPSC) announced yesterday (September 22) that it will employ a variety of technologies and social media sites to expand its reach to the public.  The new information and education program dubbed: “CPSC 2.0”.

CPSC staff characterizes the program as a comprehensive social networking initiative that will make lifesaving and other safety information more accessible to consumers. It is broadly targeted to “moms, dads and others who need our safety information,” said the CPSC in a release.

When describing the initiative, Chairman Tenenbaum said, “Safety can often be achieved through education, and we plan to use every available technology to keep Americans informed.”

The launch of CPSC 2.0 on September 22, 2009, coincided with the Agency’s Furniture and TV Tip-Over Education Campaign about the dangers of unstable furniture.  Dramatic video, blogging and podcasting were all used as components of the educational campaign.  A Commission spokesperson said the information was intended to raise the public’s awareness of tip-over dangers in the home.

Future content will address other safety issues in and around the home in engaging, consumer accessible ways.

Staff of the CPSC Compliance Office has not yet announced the Agency’s criteria for when such postings will be required and which type of issues and/or recall announcements the issues will support.  It is anticipated by experts close to the Commission that the social media tools will be used regularly for all recalls and safety alerts.

Consumers can find CPSC on its “OnSafety” blog, which has messages, articles, videos, podcasts and other information. The site also has a ‘Recall Widget’ tool that anyone can easily add to their Web site. CPSC will also have an official presence on a YouTube channel, a Twitter page, and a FlickR page. The Agency’s main website is www.cpsc.gov.