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Drought messaging: What works and what doesn’t?




Environmentalists decry harm to fish and fowl due to drought. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty)
Environmentalists decry harm to fish and fowl due to drought. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty)
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

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How would Don Draper have tackled the drought? It’s something Governor Jerry Brown would probably like to know because, despite many iterations of messaging, Californians still aren’t saving enough water.

The latest heavy public ad campaign to“Save the Drop” implores residents to save every drop of water they can, but is that the most effective messaging when headlines are taking down almond farmers for using a gallon per nut? And then there’s the “Don’t Be a LawnSoaker Larry” ads running around Los Angeles and the social media blitz #dirtyforthedrought, one shaming, one championing frugality.

What have you seen that’s effective? What’s not?

Check out Denver Water's "Use Only What You Need" campaign to get an idea of a smart water conservation campaign

Guests:

Chuck Husak, partner at the Maryland-based advertising firm August, Lang & Husak, a firm that works with nonprofits and focuses on public advocacy messages

Jonathan Parfrey, executive director of the nonprofit Climate Resolve;  former commissioner with LADWP, 2008-2013, and  Senior Fellow at the USC Marshall School of Business