Kellen was asked by the Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA) to combat negative public attitudes toward new emission controls on cars and discourage dismantling by auto mechanics.
Kellen’s strategy focused on building partnerships with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other state environmental agencies, using high school seniors and local media as message bearers on the new technology.
On behalf of MECA, Kellen gained the support and cooperation of the federal EPA and state and local education officials. They were asked to cooperate in a series of special events at leading high schools in 10 major cities across the country. At each event, students, local officials and the media were able to observe dramatic reductions in tailpipe emissions, measured through instruments on old and new cars. Educational pamphlets were distributed addressing “myths” about emission controls and car performance. Auto experts and teachers at the events answered questions from students and the media to combat false accusations.
The program gained major television and print media coverage in each region and in national education and industry publications. Public support for emission controls soared and dismantling gradually stopped. The program received a Silver Anvil – the nation’s top public relations award – for excellence in public education.