Because we are students at The University of Georgia, it was logical for us to create something that would help to alleviate a growing concern amongst students. For us, that growing concern was safety.
In the beginning, there was research, and there was a ton of it. Our initial thought was to research what kinds of crime occurred in Athens and how frequently crime was occurring.
Through our secondary research, we found that crime was a fairly prevalent issue in Athens and a major contributor was poverty. In Athens, 29% of the population lives below the poverty line and Athens-Clarke County has been deemed one of the poorest counties in the country. We also found that according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, assault and robbery were the two most common crimes in Athens during 2012. In addition, football games in the fall bring high levels of traffic to the area and thus increase the opportunity for crime.
For our primary research, we conducted a survey and have gained over 100 responses so far. From our research we have gained several insights into the target market. For instance, we have targeted many major areas on and around the UGA that have been claimed as being the “most unsafe”. Plus, we have gathered data on current safety devices and trends.
Our two main findings were that current safety techniques and devices are sometimes ineffective and inconvenient. We found that talking on the phone is actually seen as a distraction instead of a precaution, and is often ineffective at warding off offenders. Because phones are already used when traveling alone, we simply decided to change the way phones were used for safety with the help of the Athens Watchdawg App. Through our research we also found that conveniency was key. Many said they did not want to deal with cumbersome key chains containing mace, sharp objects, flashlights, etc. In addition, the most common reason for not having a safety device was attributed to “not getting around to purchasing one.” With the app, users can easily download it with the click of the button virtually anywhere and do not have to go out to a store and buy it.
Another very telling discovery from our research was that out of the 101 participants, only 2 claimed they did not have smartphones. In terms of reaching out to those without smartphones, we are planning a series of educational opportunities and plan to partner with various local organizations and businesses. For more information, check out our “Stay Tuned” portion of the website for events and descriptions.
While our target audience is predominantly college and young adult age females, we are also bringing attention to the parents and significant others of our target audience. Men should not be factored out of the equation because they can potentially have a large influence on the safety precautions their loved ones take. In addition, Athens Watchdawg can be utilized when participating in adventurous events in remote locations such as hiking, biking, or camping. In the future, we hope to expand to serve not only Athens, but other major metropolitan cities throughout the country.
What makes us different?
While there are different personal safety apps on the market, Athens Watchdawg has two distinct features. The first is the dual password feature. One password deactivates the danger mode and tells the app “I’m ok” and the other password deactivates the danger mode but tells the app there is an emergency and to contact the police. The second unique feature is that our app activates the flashlight app on the iPhone during the panic mode to offer more light in dark areas and also deter others from approaching you.
Flyers: will be handed out informing the audience about this app at Tate and also at the educational events.
Stickers: will be given out to be posted on telephone poles, poster boards, and other areas around campus and the city of Athens to promote our website and social media.
Bus ads and Posters: will be placed at both outdoor bus stops around the city and inside Athens Transit Buses.
Press Packet: will include press releases, a facts sheet, budget, and media contacts.
Video:Our team has created a video to explain the features of the app and reasons why we need Athens Watchdawg in our community. We hope to use this video through our social media outlets to gain attention and further promote our brand.
A Facebook page has been created to spread the word to all demographics on the web. Each member of the group has shared this Athens Watchdawg page on their very own Facebook account to get friends to like and read about what this app has to offer. A Twitter account has been created to reach other media outlets. The account name is @AthensWatchdawg which can be followed by friends and other UGA twitter accounts to help spread the word about this safety app. #AthensWatchdawg
Take this survey to help us continue to keep Athens safe!
Don’t be shy….
Follow us on Twitter
Like us Facebook
Check out our pr kit too!