San Bernardino County Stormwater Program
Branding and Design
Since 1994, the San Bernardino County Stormwater Program (Program) has been conducting permit-required public education and outreach activities. While the Program achieved significant success, it noticed that the community was not engaging as much with the Program’s stormwater pollution message. SGA was tasked to help reengage the community and spur residents back into action.
SGA created a campaign that achieved three main goals:
- Create a unique brand that resonates with County residents and to help communicate and educate residents about the Program’s mission and vision
- Streamline multiple public education campaigns into one comprehensive, visually-connected brand
- Increase community engagement
As with many public education and outreach programs, program fatigue sets in and gradually, there is a diminishing return from the County’s target audiences. Water pollutants were no longer strong motivators to encourage residents to act. Instead, SGA noticed that community-centered issues around pride of place and protecting water resources resonated more with County residents than the traditional environmentally focused effort (i.e., the impacts of stormwater to the receiving waters). To address these concerns and to increase community engagement and awareness, the SGA helped San Bernardino County rebrand its program to “Where Water Meets Community.”
With this rebranding effort, SGA helped create a new public outreach campaign that focused on how protecting water quality protects the community. By reframing the messaging and making it community-oriented, SGA found a new voice to motivate residents to action. SGA redesigned the Program’s website, updated the messaging, developed a branding guide, created new public education materials, and produced an educational animated video.
With the new brand, SGA also developed new public outreach materials and assets that were more community focused and reflected the new brand, “Where Water Meets Community.”
Pairing the rebranding with a website redesign was a key component to the Program’s transformation. The website redesign helped support our rebranding efforts, playing a crucial role in our overall success. The Program’s website anchors the online program, providing a consistent online hub of information acting as a home base. Residents and stakeholders visit respective pages in order to learn more information or opt into one of our campaigns. The average total of website visitors increased by 49% post-rebranding while the total page views spiked from 14,557 to 20,478.
The Program’s Facebook page was updated with the new branding, the tone of the social media posts reflected the community and pride of living in San Bernardino County. Through the use of strategic Facebook ads, frequent Facebook posts, post promotion and interactions with fans, the Program has been able to significantly increase its Facebook followers.
Hazardous Household Waste
The results of the Program’s HHW campaign after the rebranding effort showed that a care for the environment, desire to do the right thing, and a desire to keep the community clean were the biggest motivators for proper disposal of HHW. Newsletter inserts, emails, and Facebook were cited as the most frequent method of introduction to the Program’s Too Toxic to Trash campaign. The HHW campaign continued to build upon these outreach efforts and motivators to streamline all campaign materials and website under the new brand.
Since pet waste is one of the most widely spread sources of bacteria pollution in the County, the Program has continuously implemented a campaign that addressed barriers and motivators to encourage dog owners to pick up after their pets. SGA rebranded the messaging to revolve around protecting the community and keeping the County clean and beautiful and managed to increase dog canister distribution by 372% post-rebranding.
YouTube Educational Video
As part of the rebranding, the Program begins to develop educational videos to educate San Bernardino County residents about stormwater pollution prevention actions to keep local waterways healthy for generations to come.
It is important to highlight that long-running programs like the San Bernardino County Stormwater Program can adopt a malleable approach to improve the ways agencies can communicate and implement our stormwater public education program through time to keep their audiences engaged and motivated to act. By listening and paying attention to the community current concerns and issues, we were able to revitalize interest in stormwater pollution prevention actions.