- Why a campaign?
Quite simply: because you asked for it. You asked for tools, and you asked for a statewide brand.
Additionally, there is a huge need for better education around recycling. Recycling is one of the easiest ways to be green, yet every year, Georgians throw away 2.6 million tons of recyclables worth over $300 million. Research shows that, if given the right information, Georgians will recycle more.
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs developed a statewide campaign that local communities can use to encourage local participation and raise awareness for recycling. The campaign is one of several strategies being used by DCA to improve recycling across the state.
- Why now?
It’s never been easier to recycle. And 87 percent of Georgians say recycling should be a top priority. Yet, over 40 percent of what is in the average Georgia landfill could have been recycled but was wasted instead. So it’s important that we step in now to make sure that in future years these materials go to Georgia industries, versus into the landfill.
More communities in Georgia also offer recycling than ever before. And through DCA’s statewide recycling strategy, recycling hubs are being built to make collection and transportation of recyclables more efficient. But the best infrastructure in the world would be worthless unless we are feeding it with materials, which is where the consumer, and our campaign, comes in.
- How did you arrive at this the campaign?
Research led us to the messaging and approach of the campaign, as well as the identification of our target audience. An Advisory Council of your peers helped shape the campaign by offering local perspectives. Check out our research section for more information on what we learned.
Research also revealed that many misperceptions exist about recycling, and people often have silly excuses for why they do not recycle. The creative developed for this campaign takes these misperceptions and exaggerates them to show their absurdity. The “cast of characters” developed for the campaign (and whom you will meet on this site) wear their non-recycler status on their proverbial sleeve. It’s not your “traditional” recycling education campaign, but who wants that? Our campaign will catch the attention of our target audience, and it will get people talking – critical components of an effective social marketing campaign.
- Will this campaign work?
We are confident that this campaign will be successful. It is grounded in solid research and takes a unique approach to promoting the “old faithful” cause of recycling – a winning combination. However, DCA’s efforts can only take this campaign so far, so we are counting on local communities to take the materials provided and run with it. Ultimately, the success of the campaign lies with you.
- Do I have to use every character, or can I pick and choose?
Use what is right for your community. We developed an initial set of four characters with the assumption that every community would have different opinions on what would work, which characters they thought would be effective, etc. Use what makes sense for your audiences. We encourage communities to use a minimum of two characters, however, so that the campaign stays fresh. Just seeing Tommy everywhere, for example, may get old fast, but if you sprinkle Justin or Maria in here and there, that will keep people interested and paying attention.
- How can I localize the campaign?
Every item developed for the campaign allows some level of localization. Refer to each individual item in the campaign creative section for more specifics, but in most cases you can add your community logo, and in some other cases you can add in your own copy, local facts, etc. We encourage you to make this campaign your own wherever possible.
- We are a small community; can we also benefit from the campaign if we don’t have big dollars to spend?
Yes. We know that budgets are tight everywhere. This campaign is designed to be used in many different ways, through advertising or through free public relations, or a combination. Use this Web site and the free tools and advice that are provided to develop a campaign that works for you. You don’t have to spend big bucks to see results. We encourage you to prioritize. Use what limited resources you may have to the fullest. Also, make sure your efforts are ongoing. Don’t spend all of your time, energy and funds on one effort or event. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so be judicious with your resources. This Web site should help you. If you still have questions, or need further assistance, please e-mail us.
- How can I measure the success of the campaign?
Measurement is essential. In fact, we’ve dedicated an entire section (link to Measurement) to it on Campaign Central. We encourage every community to set a baseline (i.e., where you were before the campaign). Then, measure impact 3, 6, 9 and 12 months out. How did recycling grow, and where, because of the campaign? Measuring at intervals will also allow you to course-correct along the way if need be.
However, your ability to measure and what data you can access will depend on who you are. If you run a local program or MRF, for example, you are probably reporting in to Re-TRAC, the statewide online tool. This is one critical way to measure success – through recycling tonnages. If you do not have access to Re-TRAC, or you are in the private sector, for example, you should still track recycling volume in some other way. You can and should also be measuring bin requests, drop-off volumes and other measures.