Stormwater Pollution Educational Awareness Campaign

 

You were introduced to the exciting new Stormwater Pollution Educational Awareness Campaign (SPEAC for short) against home car washing in the ACWA Autumn newsletter.

  

While you may have liked the idea, I think many of you were left feeling  unsure about exactly how you might go about making it work for you.

  

Let's go through it slowly, bit by bit, so that you feel confident that you really can change your local car owners' habits and have them come to your car wash instead of washing their cars at home.

  

It's all about making your business more profitable.  Currently about 40% of car owners regularly use commercial car washes; if you can increase that to 50% in your area by using this promotion, that is a 25% increase in turnover. Doesn't that make it worth giving it a go......

  

First of all, go to www.thedirtytruth.com.au and look at the two videos that we have made.  See which organisations are supporting us under Useful Links and read the Presenters' Guidelines

  

So this is what you have to use - and there are several ways in which you can use it to reach your target audience.

 

WORKING WITH YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL

It's not essential to involve your local Council in the campaign but it will make your marketing so much easier if you have the Council behind you from the start (as well as the EPA, Stormwater Australia and the RACV).

  

Because the videos talk about all sorts of stormwater pollution from home activities, the local Councils that have seen the videos have mostly been very enthusiastic and keen to be part of the educational awareness process.  They tell us that they have wanted simple message materials like this for a long time but have never been able to afford to create them for themselves.


Look at what happened when ACWA Director, Rhys Lyster put a message on his Facebook page.

 

He had a meeting with the Wangaratta Council the next day.  They are getting the Wodonga and Benalla Councils to come and join in - and they gave Rhys a list of names of the Environment teachers at all the local schools for him to contact.  They also invited him to attend an upcoming business forum on business sustainability.

If you have a website and/or a Facebook page use them to promote this new campaign against stormwater pollution.  If you havn't, go straight to the tried and true way of writing a letter to the Environmental section of your local Council asking if you can come to see them to explain about SPEAC.  I have attached a link (below) to a draft Council Invitation letter that you can use and personalise to suit your needs.

 

If need be, follow up the letter after a few days with a phone call to arrange a discussion meeting between you and the relevant people at the Council.  I had a meeting today with my local Council which included their Education officer and a couple from the Public Health sections as well as the Environment people.  They want to use the campaign in different ways.

 

It doesn't matter if they use the videos to promote food health issues or lawn clippings being dumped in the gutter or whatever - in the process the nasty consequences of washing a car on the driveway will seep through.

 

Hopefully at this stage your Council decides it would like to really engage with the campaign and agrees to sign up as an Active Participant.  Their contribution is a one-off payment which will keep them "in the loop" as the campaign develops and give them access to all the marketing materials (so that they can personalise the animation characters with their own messages for instance).  It also gives them up to 10,000 personalised flyers (which they can take over time) to use for different events and promotions.  I have attached a link (below) to the Council Order Form for you to use, if they are keen to show leadership in the community for SPEAC.

 

Even if your Council does not come in as an Active Participant they are at least aware - and hopefully supportive - of this new campaign happening in their area.

 
NOW YOU NEED TO REACH OUT TO YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS

Here it is up to you to do what you feel comfortable doing,  probably starting with the people and organisations you already have a contact with.

 

At the very least, get yourself a supply of personalised flyers and hand them out to the customers at the car wash - start them talking about what they see in the pictures.  (I have attached a link below to an Order Form for you to use.)

 

Another simple concept is to do a letter drop in your local area (typically a suburban car wash has a reach of between 3-5 kms depending on competition).

 

If you have already established a relationship with the schools, sports clubs or other community groups in your area, then go and talk to them and have them show the videos to the children and adults in their organisation - and give everyone who comes to a presentation a flyer to take home and put up on the fridge.

 

This is where the Presenters' Guidelines can come in useful.  It doesn't matter who does the presentation as long as they believe in the messages - you can do it, or a teacher, or the footy coach - or a Council rep at a Business Forum.

 

If the presenter is asked a question and doesn't know the answer - then they email us (or ask you to email us) and we will find out the answer and put it up on the website under FAQs.  This way we build up a growing resource.

 

If you already contribute to fund-raising with the school or other group, you could tie in a fundraising activity with the Stormwater Pollution promotion - giving the participants a double reason to come to your car wash.  The videos might make them think about it;  if they are also raising funds for their group, it could persuade them to actually do it.   

 

What do we have for you to use ?  

 

A special website  www.thedirtytruth.com.au  with the basic message and the short animated videos sitting there ready to show.

 

A draft Council Invitation letter that you can personalise and send to your local Council Environmental section (usually address it to the Environment Officer or the Sustainability Officer).

 

An example of the bright little flyer which both you and the Council (and other interested groups) can have personalised and printed to help "sell" the nasty pollution messages.  One of these came with the newsletter (as well as an Order Form for you) and you can email out this .pdf file and/or print more samples as well.

 

A Council Order Form that your local Council can use to become an Active Participant in the Campaign and order up to 10,000 flyers for free.

Useful links on the website including Presenters' Guidelines to help anyone who is going to do a group presentation of the videos, for instance at schools, sports clubs or business forums.

 

This promotion is getting lots of praise and interest in the USA - from the President of the ICA, who put the link on the USA watersavers website,  in PC&D Magazine and on several twitters.

 

The videos received an ovation at the recent Victorian Stormwater Association conference and have been promoted in the Stormwater Australia national magazine.

 

We will continue to take the campaign to the relevant bodies in all States and Territories and do everything else we can to support you.

But in the end, the only people who can start the groundswell and change car washing habits in the local areas are you, the car wash owners.

 

We have given you the tools to effectively fight against home car washing.  Only you can tell the story we have created to your car owners who could then become your new customers.

 

This could be as big as the recycling campaigns of a few years ago and have a dramatic effect on your business turnover.

 

Go out and make it happen, 

Regards,

Diane

 

Diane Ross

Chief Executive Officer

Australian Car Wash Association

E:  ceo@acwa.net.au

M:  0417 565 104

 www.acwa.net.au