Challenge: Keep your residents interested long enough to explain how the City recycles

Having served both as a staff member and consultant to local governments I will share with you that one of the challenges in government communications is making it interesting. I say that because in a crowded media landscape, government communicators have to compete with media giants that have deep pockets and are able to use sensational topics to titillate viewers into watching and listening to them.

That’s why creativity is so vitally important in government communications. Government communications have a reputation for being dry, overrun with bureaucratic doubletalk and downright boring. Often times, it’s not the fault of PIO’s, the professionals charged with developing the communications, rather, sometimes their efforts are hampered by stakeholders who are afraid of being misunderstood. It’s true that one rarely gets criticized for playing it safe in government. An outside consultant or firm can do things that an in-house person often can’t. Sometimes, that’s the very reason why a PIO or an organization seeks a consultant or company like, Dynamic Digital.

The communication problem the City had was that no one knew there was a recycling program because they used a material recycling facility that sorted trash for residents. Most cities issue different colored bins for residents to sort their own trash. So the City kept getting calls from people asking why there was no recycling program. This project, “Cerritos Recycles” used a humorous hook, spoofing old time detective dramas, to draw the viewer in to the content about how the City recycles. It won an award for writing from 3CMA which is the Cities, Counties, Communications and Marketing Association. It continues to be a valuable resource for the City.

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