By Leah Myers and Jacob Crawford
Tuscaloosa, Ala.— WVUA 23 has created a public service campaign that will be seen across the country, thanks to a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the College of Communication & Information Sciences (C&IS). The national campaign will promote NOAA’s flood inundation mapping (FIM) system, which can help save lives during flood events.
The National Water Center, located on The University of Alabama’s (UA) campus, originally partnered with WVUA 23 for news coverage on FIM development, but as conversations evolved, WVUA 23’s general sales manager Kassandra Horton realized the studio could help the Water Center deliver their message to a wider audience. As a result, the studio worked with them to build a complete marketing campaign to help NOAA spread awareness.
“In partnering with NOAA’s FIM campaign, we are helping drive meaningful impact within the community, especially those in underserved areas,” said Horton. “With this information, we are letting the public know where to go and what to do in the event of a severe weather situation by utilizing our digital platforms.”
According to NOAA’s website, 61 people died in the U.S. from floods in the previous five years. As of July, 22 people have died from floods this year alone, highlighting the need for this campaign. FIM is designed to help people be more aware of flood-prone areas, especially during severe weather. The technology will inform people across the country of what to do in a water emergency and create public awareness of flood areas.
The first phase of WVUA 23’s public service campaign will launch in October and cover 10 percent of the United States, including Texas, Louisiana, New York and Pennsylvania. The other three phases will begin shortly thereafter and conclude in the summer of 2026.
“As a college, we have so much to offer this campus and our community,” said Amy Martin, director of creative services and programming at WVUA 23. “Each department in C&IS involved in the project will play a critical role in its success throughout its four-year lifespan.”
WVUA 23 is partnering with the Institute for Communication and Information Research to test messaging and identify audiences for each region of the country. Capstone Agency, C&IS’s student-led advertising and public relations firm, will develop campaigns for each audience, and the Center for Public Television will provide video production services. WVUA 23 will design graphics and implement the digital campaign, as well as provide local news coverage about the technology.
NOAA works on a wide range of scientific support, from daily weather forecasts and severe storm warnings to coastal restoration and climate monitoring.
WVUA 23 is a local news station and full-service marketing agency owned by UA, providing essential news, weather and sports coverage, as well as creative services and advertising for West Alabama.