If you’re responsible for writing the next security message or choosing a security slogan for your company’s security initiatives, you know you have a challenge ahead. After all, most safety slogans become invisible and ineffective pretty quickly.
Just create a safety message that’s part of a workplace safety campaign where people are trained to change their behavior. Otherwise. Hanging a poster with a new slogan on the wall is just as helpful as putting a “Baby on board” sticker on your car. No one will pay much attention (or really care!).
Here are five important tips to keep your security message sticky:
1. Use positive language – Avoid creating a slogan that focuses on behaviors you don’t want. Instead, write a security message that tells you what you want people to do. For example, a negative slogan for altitude safety is “Don’t be fooled by it”. Using more positive language, a more appropriate version is “A harness is better than a hearse.” While this has negative connotations, it still focuses on what you want the person to do rather than misbehavior.
2. Keep it short (and tweet) – Being able to write in 140 characters or less in this age of Twitter helps distill your message. It’s the same as writing a security message, just try to encapsulate it in 12 words or less.
3. Avoid jargon – Make sure the sentence flows easily. Avoid abbreviations and words that not everyone can understand (use the quiz: Will mom get this?).
4. Contains a surprise – Common sense is the enemy of sticky security messages. When our brain’s prediction machine fails, it wants to find out why it couldn’t guess. This surprise draws our attention so that we can be prepared for the future. By trying to figure out what went wrong, our brain is more likely to remember information.
Here’s a good example (a personal favorite): Hug your kids at home, but keep them safe in the car.
Slogans containing the obvious will be ignored
Examples: “Play it safe” and “Be aware, take care”. To yawn!
5. Play on words – A clever play on words will help you make your safety message a little more catchy. This may include rhyming and repeating words in a different order. Adding a little fun can make a serious topic more approachable.
It is better to lose a minute in life than to lose life in a minute.
Know safety, no injury. No safety, know getting hurt
Lifting is a breeze when you bend your knees
After creating your own safety slogan and educating people on the new behavior required, you can use it in toolbox meetings and email newsletters etc. Remind personnel of the safety message regularly. The more people see it, the more it is remembered.
Here are some catchy slogans that stay in mind:
When on the ladder, never step back to admire your work
10 fingers, 10 toes 2 eyes 1 nose… safety numbers
Shortcuts shorten life
Keep safety in mind. He’ll save your back.
Spill, slip, hospital trip
Safety glasses: Everyone favors “Eye!”
If you mess it up, ‘fess up
Anger behind the wheel is one letter away from danger.
The lucky ones are the ones who crash
Cleaning you skip may result in a fall or slip.
It’s easier to ask a stupid question than to fix a stupid mistake
Make it your duty not to live in unsafe conditions.
Security comes in a box, I can do it, you can do it, we can be safe.
Safety fits like a glove; Give it a try.
Security is a full time job – don’t make it a part time practice
Safety rules are your best tools.
Think wisely before you start.