Blog 5 minute readCompany: Charnwood Borough Council Campaign: Don’t Muck Around 2012 Category: Low Budget Campaign of the Year - South - Shortlisted Objective • To use effective communication to raise awareness of environmental crimes (cigarette litter, dog fouling, fly-tipping) and the associated penalties over a three-month campaign • To use effective communication to help reduce the number of incidents of environmental crime (cigarette litter and dog fouling) in hotspot areas • To use effective communication to raise awareness of the campaign brand through media relations, social media, a poster campaign, internal comms and video Strategy & Target Audience Our strategy was to use high profile media relations, three publicity ‘events’, consistent and clear internal comms, a strong web presence, social media (Twitter and Facebook), a quirky poster campaign, partnerships with local businesses, schools, charities and other public sector agencies, Council publications and video to raise awareness of enviro-crime penalties and to reduce incidents. We also carried out an awareness survey both before and after the campaign to gauge the effectiveness of our communications. Our target audience was residents, businesses, visitors to Charnwood town centres, smokers and dog owners. Action We commissioned a local company to produce a series of three posters which we used to promote our key messages using conceptual images based on the strapline: “You wouldn’t do this at home – Don’t do it on our streets.” The posters were displayed at Council buildings, facilities and in our town centres. We also created a separate set of posters and certificates for businesses who signed up to a pledge to encourage staff to quit smoking as part of the cigarette litter strand. Cigarette litter We launched the campaign with a publicity ‘event’ using an ‘Ash Mob’. We recruited 50 volunteers from Council staff, local businesses, NHS staff, Loughborough University and Charnwood Youth Council and dressed them in foam cigarette suits which Council officers made. On the day of the launch the volunteers walked into the town centre in complete silence and, on a secret cue, they simultaneously lay down for five minutes to highlight the issue of cigarette litter. The whole stunt was filmed by an independent film-maker and the Council’s own CCTV team to capture public reaction as well as the stunt. The footage from both was professionally knitted together to create a contemporary video. The stunt attracted good local media coverage. The completed film was posted on the Council’s You Tube channel, Facebook and embedded on the Council’s home web page. We then premiered the film at Charnwood College in a special school assembly in front of 75 children which garnered further media coverage. We also secured media coverage when we launched a business pledge campaign to encourage companies in our hotspot areas to urge staff to quit smoking and to raise awareness of the penalties for dropping cigarette litter. And finally, we arranged for our street cleaning team to keep all cigarettes collected in Loughborough and invited the press to a photo opportunity to show just how much cigarette litter is dumped in town over a three-week period. Dog Fouling The dog fouling campaign was launched with a dog show event in Coalville, called Bark in the Park, as part of our partnership with North West Leicestershire District Council. We promoted the event heavily through social media, network contacts, media releases and our own websites to attract visitors. More than 500 people attended the event which featured dog displays, assault courses, trade stalls, and plenty of campaign-branded material to ensure the message around dog fouling was clear. In addition, we issued a press release and tweeted about the launch of a dedicated ‘dog squad’ of street wardens who targeted dog fouling in a one-week blitz in hotspot areas. Fly-Tipping (Duty of Care offences) We launched the campaign in Coalville in partnership with North West Leicestershire District Council by creating a mock fly-tip in the town centre. It attracted questions from members of the public which allowed us to explain the campaign and the Duty of Care element. We also secured good media coverage for the event. In addition, we promoted three prosecutions through the media, using each opportunity to explain Duty of Care offences. Results 1. To use effective communication to raise awareness of environmental crimes (cigarette litter, dog fouling, fly-tipping) and the associated penalties over a three-month campaign The results of our awareness campaign survey revealed: Awareness of cigarette litter penalty – from 74.6 per cent pre-campaign to 93.6 per cent post-campaign (19 per cent increase) Awareness of dog fouling penalty – from 94.9 per cent pre-campaign to 100 per cent post-campaign (5.1 per cent increase) Awareness of Duty of Care – from 72.8 per cent pre-campaign to 83.9 per cent post-campaign (11.1% increase) 2. To use effective communication to help reduce the number of incidents of environmental crime (cigarette litter and dog fouling) in hotspot areas Officers carried out both pre and post-campaign monitoring at six hotspot areas which were determined by the number of complaints received by the Council about cigarette litter and dog fouling. The figures revealed: An overall 72 per cent reduction in dog fouling across three areas. An overall 32% reduction in cigarette litter across three busy town centres The Council also issued 63 Fixed Penalty Notices to offenders 3. To use effective communication to raise awareness of the campaign brand through media relations, social media, a poster campaign, internal comms and video The results of our awareness survey revealed that the number of people who had heard of the Don’t Muck Around campaign rose from 40.7 per cent pre-campaign to 67.7 per cent post-campaign – a 27 per cent increase. We issued 11 press releases during the campaign period which secured 19 media hits and an EAV of approximately £10,000. Our ash mob video received a total of 5,841 views across multiple platforms: You Tube – 543 Facebook - 192 Council Website - 5,106 Our Facebook page received 109 likes and had a potential reach of more than 30,000 Facebook users. The PRmoment Golden Hedgehog Awards 2014 are now open for entries. Here are this years updated categories.