Often neglected or done poorly, promotion campaigns are critical to the success of sanitation and septage management programs. PSA staff facilitate the establishment of promotion teams comprised of local government staff, the water district, members of the local business community, NGO workers, members of Rotary and Lions clubs, academics, media practitioners and other stakeholders.
Each city’s team is encouraged to carry out its own baseline knowledge and perception survey. Levels of awareness and attitudes differ between communities. The surveys, often carried out by NGOs, even include looking at how people get their information – what radio station they listen to or newspaper they read so as to know the best media to use to convey messages.
“We approached this like a commercial marketing campaign. Our messages were packaged around what people in each particular city cared about. We had to find the hook. We had to find what motivated people,” said Lisa Kircher Lumbao, Chief of Party of the Philippine Sanitation Alliance. “Never make assumptions about what messages will work or people’s level of awareness. It is crucial to base everything on survey results.”
The next step for each city’s communications team is to develop strategies. This includes information on key messages (which should be tested on focus groups), a breakdown of the target audience, how the messages are to be delivered, and a plan to measure impact. Activities include barangay meetings, proactive media outreach campaigns to get local journalists writing about the issue, local theater productions, and posters, brochures, and public-service announcements on radio.
After the campaigns are implemented, a second round of surveys should be carried out to gauge how people’s level of awareness and attitudes have changed. The results, as well as data on the numbers of people who had subsequently cooperated with desludging efforts, can be used to determine the success of the campaigns.
Funding for each city’s campaign is fairly limited. PSA has invested a small amount of out-of-pocket expenses for each city, as well as about 50 local consultant days and 10 international consultant days. Local businesses, Rotary and Lions clubs, as well as local governments and utilities have invested their own funds to pay for production of campaign materials, underscoring the local buy-in that the campaigns has in each city.
The USAID ECO-Asia program has developed a toolkit that has been used throughout the region to develop promotion campaigns that are effective, measurable, behavior change-focused and innovative. It is called “Catalyzing Change One Step at a Time: 10-Step Toolkit to Design and Implement an Effective Promotion Program.” The toolkit outlines an eight-month process for achieving measurable behavior change as a result of a sanitation program. The toolkit was placed online (www.waterlinks.org/promotion) and is currently being revised.
Following are our promotional campaigns available for download: