Thinking About Water Usage Like a Campaign

Let’s face it, to get anything accomplished these days without having a big push behind it or without it going viral in some way. We tend to go to sleep on “good causes” because we have the belief that others are good and they will see the good and in turn do good themselves. I do believe this is true, that people are inherently good, and want to do good. However, what I have recognized over the years is that people are busy and they are insanely distracted, mainly by social media. We can’t just hope that people will come along because its in our own best interests. We have to push it.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a PR person or marketer. I blog a bit and seem to get good responses on my social media posts about water rights and issues. But if I take a hard look at the reception, it looks like it is mainly from people who are already part of the cause (speaking to my church) or just supporting me from my inner circle. That’s hardly getting the word out even though it can feel like I am.

So I’ve been thinking about getting into the game for real. Playing like everyone else plays, and I don’t mean that in any pejorative sense, but rather just using the available tools and structures to accomplish what others are doing with ankle socks and ice bucket challenges and Youtube channels. Likewise, I am going to move away from the kinds of mindsets I’ve been guilty of in the past, which is to practically shame and force others to feel sympathy. I have, in some cases and for good causes, weaponized others’ feelings of guilt and sorrow for my own professional needs. I’d likely do it again for the results, but I can’t continue to operate too much in the “ends justify the means” space, because that has become too crowded with people I can’t stand and don’t admire.

What does this mean exactly? I think it means learning how to create effective ads on twitter and using FB to do the same, whatever that might mean. While I’m not well versed in these, I have paid close attention to what gets my attention and why. I believe I can turn this on its head and to our advantage. I have a close friend with a sort of boutique digital marketing agency in upstate NY, who has said she can help us think through how to structure this whole thing, from strategy to various tactics. Basically, she can add coherence as well as pitfall avoidance or reduction. Figuring out how to build lists of blogs and websites would might want to link our our cause for some SEO help. Maybe even starting a podcast, again that isn’t too preachy.

The final thing I need is to create a new angle into this. As mentioned, much of my previous view on this has been to pull on people’s heartstrings. So maybe in this era, I will appeal to their logic or common sense. Perhaps appeal to their wallets. Maybe if I can show how much more they will pay for water as we run out of quality water, plus the savings just from conserving or the savings from low flow toilets even after the cost of installation, maybe that is a path. Who knows. Lots to think about.

So I guess this could stand in as a manifesto of sorts. That I’m leaving one view of the industry and finding a new spot. We shall see. Wish me luck.