OLIVENHAIN MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT - WATER CONSERVATION CAMPAIGN
In August 2008, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District (OMWD) retained Cook & Schmid to develop a community outreach campaign to encourage long-lasting water conservation practices and communicate information about drought ordinances.
OMWD’s stakeholders are far more affluent and educated than the typical San Diego County resident, which meant the basic messaging developed by the San Diego County Water Authority may not resonate with or touch on OMWD customers’ concerns. In addition, drought levels were poised to escalate.
In the face of these challenges, Cook & Schmid launched a fast-track research component to explore OMWD’s customers’ practices and preferences. The research results shaped the development of a strategic campaign that included the creation of a brand identity and communications vehicles that are effective given the region’s unique circumstances and customer preferences – deliverables achieved in a very short timeframe.
Important information gleaned from the survey included what measures residents had taken to conserve water up to this point, what measures they were willing to take, what motivates them to save water, and who they trusted as credible sources of information.
Rather than rely on the San Diego County Water Authority’s 20-gallon challenge, which has yet to demonstrate effectiveness, Cook & Schmid developed a compelling brand – H2O Running Low – based on the survey results about OMWD customers’ key motivators. The agency currently is refining behavior-changing themes to be implemented across multiple media and communication channels.
Also within the first eight weeks of the contract, Cook & Schmid developed several easy-to-understand graphic tools for communicating the drought ordinance, a poster that conveys information about OMWD’s water sources and constraints on the system, a drought web site that can be expanded as the campaign continues, and several newsletter issues focused on the drought.
Click to view full size [PDF]....
Moving forward, the campaign will employ messaging focused on OMWD customers’ key motivators (as determined by the survey) and delivered via the media customers said they preferred. Tactics will include direct mail, e-mail, and community outreach, with interactive features built into the outreach program so course correction can be made quickly if conditions or customer attitudes change.