Ad Council Taps Ruder Finn to Create; Ruder Finn Designs Website and Brochure for Department of Homeland Security's `Ready' Citizen-Preparedness Campaign

NEW YORK, March 10, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Ruder Finn said today it is pleased to have created, the new website supporting the Department of Homeland Security's `Ready' citizen-preparedness campaign.

The website seeks to communicate the Federal Government's official guidelines on how to prepare and respond to another potential terrorist attack.

"Ruder Finn is truly honored and excited to have won these assignments and to have the opportunity -- and responsibility -- to help Americans in this time of crisis. The Department of Homeland Security information online will help Americans plan what to do in the event of a crisis in a clear way that is right for their family," said the agency's co-CEO, Kathy Bloomgarden.

The main objective of is to present guidelines in three major categories:

1. Make an emergency supply kit;

2. Make a family communications plan;

3. Be informed about how to react during another attack.

As the Department's primary communications vehicle for this information, the site has been specially designed to be accessible to all Americans, including the blind and disabled.

"Ruder Finn was tapped because of their ability to mesh public affairs campaigns with the Internet," said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "Ruder Finn's work in developing the website for the Smokey the Bear campaign was very effective."

While the `Ready' campaign will also include print and broadcast public service announcements, the Internet is the centerpiece of this important communications campaign. In creating the Web destination of the Department's consumer-preparedness initiative, Ruder Finn sought to beat the industry standards in usability, accessibility and security.

"As the Internet increasingly becomes the nation's leading communications tool, expanding our capabilities in this important space has become a primary objective for Ruder Finn," said Michael Schubert, Chief Creative Officer of Ruder Finn. "This particular website is a huge undertaking. We took great pains to make sure all Americans would have an easy user experience when navigating this critical resource." went through extensive accessibility testing, ensuring that disabled Americans using screen magnifiers, text-to-speech mechanisms and text-to-Braille readers could use the site as easily as everyone else. Additionally, consumers using older, slower computers can access the site just as simply as can those using the latest technology.

Ruder Finn managed all aspects of the hosting of, which is designed to withstand the tremendous amount of Web traffic expected during a crisis. Scott Schneider, Director of Ruder Finn Interactive, said the agency used as benchmarks the traffic levels experienced by and during and immediately after the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Ruder Finn also created an 11-page brochure that will be shipped to every U.S. household. The brochure is a printed version of the information available at

About Ruder Finn (

Ruder Finn is a leading communications, counseling and services agency with 55 years experience. Ruder Finn maintains offices in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington, London, Paris, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. The Agency also works with affiliates in major markets throughout the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Ruder Finn was recently ranked No. 1 in New York in revenues and staff size by the Council of Public Relations Firms and serves the global and local communications needs of more than 250 corporations and nonprofit organizations.


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