CBC "Dooring" PSA Response
Jun 22, 2004 17:01 PDT
Thanks Margaret for your message and endorsement of the
"dooring" PSA created pro bono for the California Bicycle
Coalition by EMRL Media Group of Sacramento.
Unfortunately, as the cliche goes, "you can't please everyone."
(Or as Yogi Berra reportedly once said, "If people don't want to
come out to the ball park, how are ya gonna stop 'em?") With all
due respect to those who object to it, I believe the PSA to be
very effective and well-produced. A 15-second PSA is certainly
not a substitute for a Street Skills course or a longer training
video. But as a brief awareness raising tool for a general
audience, it's very effective.
The PSA originated in March when Stephen Chuchel and Floyd
Diebel of EMRL Media Group approached the CBC, explaining that
they had a gap in their schedule and were interested in creating
a commercial for us. Both are dedicated cyclists; indeed Floyd
is has never driven and doesn't have a license. Given the tight
window they had available, it would have been impossible, as
some have suggested, to convene a committee of knowledgeable
bicyclists and LCIs to review the production.
We discussed broad parameters for the spot, and EMRL Media Group
produced an excellent commercial. Our goal is to use this
initial spot as a pilot to attract more funding to do a series
of similar PSAs, on various bicycle safety issues, including
wrong-way cycling, riding on sidewalks, bicycling without
lights, etc. These future spots would involve members of the
CBC's new Bicycle Education Task Force.
Shortly after obtaining the "dooring" PSA, I presented it for
review to many experienced cyclists, often on my laptop in cafes
or restaurants. I heard no strong objections or concerns; if I
had I would have withheld it. The principal objection I have
since heard from a small handful is that the cyclist is riding
too close to the parked cars. Indeed she is. This is called a
"plot device" designed to create dramatic tension and viewer
What's great about the PSA, to me, is this: It features a female
cyclist (an underrepresented group), dressed in casual clothing,
wearing a helmet, cycling for transportation, in an urban
environment. In communicates effectively to both motorists and
cyclists, and vividly illustrates a dangerous cycling condition
that can easily be avoided by better riding technique and more
caution by motorists. The spot is visceral and engaging, not
pedantic or overly didactic. It keeps viewer attention with its
skillful imagery and plot. It works.
I encourage cyclists to view the spot, and ask themselves:
"Would cyclists in my community benefit from having this PSA air
on my local station?" If, after viewing the spot online at
http://www.calbike.org/calbike.mov, you feel inclined to
contribute, please do. Those who object are welcome to submit
their specific objections as a letter to the editor for our
quarterly newsletter, the CalBike Advocate. The deadline for the
next issue is July 10; send to email@example.com.
Again, with all due respect to those who object, I believe this
is an effective work. We are grateful to EMRL Media Group for
donating their talents. In conclusion, I cite another American
icon, Bill Cosby, who said: "I don't know the key to success,
but the key to failure is to try to please everyone."
Paul Dorn, Executive Director
California Bicycle Coalition
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 16:52:45 -0700
From: "Margaret Okuzumi" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [SVBC] FW: New CBC Dooring PSA Available
To: "SVBC email list" <email@example.com>
[This public service announcement was professional produced and
apparently is very effective. It deserves widespread
- New CBC Dooring PSA Available
We continue to seek contributions to support the duplication of
our 15-second PSA on the hazards of dooring, created pro bono by
the talented people at Sacramento's EMRL Media Group
(http://www.emrl.com). You can view the commercial online at:
We are seeking contributions to get this PSA on television
stations and cable outlets throughout California. We need
approximately $1,000 to dubthis video onto 50 copies of
broadcast quality BETA or 3/4-inch VHS.
Please donate online at our secure server
(https://www.calbike.org/joincbc/) or send contributions to CBC,
926 J Street, Suite 509, Sacramento, CA 95814.
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