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Synergy in Public Communication or How Stray Dogs, Invasive Species and 8th Graders can Improve your Outreach Efforts

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The Richmond, Virginia Stormwater Utility uses multiple methods for community outreach to have timely and effective Stormwater Public Education. The Utility continues to employ traditional methods of communicating with the public such as bill inserts, public service announcements and community and neighborhood meetings; however, we have added an additional component to our program that has proven to be very successful. This new approach involves partnering with Community groups in joint events that offer the Utility an opportunity to realize synergistic results while targeting messages to specific groups. This targeted approach allows us to piggy back our Stormwater education message with an already popular event. The paper will cover outreach efforts to Animal Sheltering and Welfare groups that include a Pet Waste Pick up gift for each adoption; to Public Schools for a “Build a Rain Barrel” project offering stormwater education and an artistic component by having the students both build and decorate rain barrels and to Community Volunteer and Environmental Groups to share educational information with the public.This paper will show that these innovative practices help the utility bring our message of improving stormwater quality to targeted community groups.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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