Monday, November 21, 2011

Final Project: Clean Up Santa Cruz Campaign

The Situation: Santa Cruz Mayor Percy Fernandez decides that as his last amyor act in office he is going to try to clean up Santa Cruz – fix the gardens in the median strips of the big streers, fix the sidewalks, control the billboards in public places, and, most of all, get the garbage off the streets.  In connection with this last goal he intends to hire a communications company to conduct a multi-pronged “public relations campaign” to make citizens more aware of the fact that Santa Cruz is one of the world’s dirtiest cities and, hopefully, do something about it.The city government is willing to enact almost anything in the way of new laws – including punishments and fines – to assist the campaiugn. 

To get the multi-million-dollar contract, public relations companies must submit a proposal for a campaign that will include at least the following:  
·        * .A slogan
·         * A description of the strategy the company plans to use
·         * An press advertising campaign (consisting of one or more ads)
·         * A press release
·         * A letter to community organizations asking for their help and offering support
(It may include much more, such as scripts for radio and televisión public service announcements, a proposed newspaper story (to place in smaller newspapers, a billboard campaign – whatever your company thinks is needed to get the job done.

ALL OF THIS WILL BE PRESENTED during class on Thursday, December 8  during our last class to a team of judges, who will pick a winner.The winners (assuming there are no major complaints about their proposal will get a “A” on this exercise, which is the equivalent of a final exam. The losers will get a lower grade, depending on how close they came to winning. (In addition, the Project leaders will be asked t orate the participation of team membersa, which could affect the grade.

THE STRATEGY. Naturally, your company’s “campaign” will be determined on the basis of why you think the city is so dirty, and what strategies and tactics are most likely to get people to change their ways. In other words, what do you think the problema is? We are going to discuss this today, and I hope the discussion will help me with the extremely difficult task of dividing the class into two companies, or “teams.”

In the real world you would go out and do a lot of research, and you would “test” the effectiveness of differrent approaches. You will not have the time or the opportunity to do this, I don’t think, in a formal way, though you certainly can “try out” different slogans and messages on other students, your parents, friends of your parents, and so on.But keep in mind thatb this kind of a “simple” for your market research is weakened by the fact that these are probably not the people who are throwing trash in the street. To do really effective research you would have to find them and talk to them. Still, you may get some interesting ideas.

There are, no doubt, lots of different reasons why Cruceños are such slobs, but I am just going to suggest two, for the purpose of getting a discussion started. You will immediately see, I think, how if you decide one is correct (or mostly correct) that will influence everything you do in your campaign.

SYMPATHETIC APPROACH – In this view the main problema causing trash to accumulate all over the place is that a great number of Cruceños have just moved here from little towns where, basically, everyone was a slob and nobody much cared. This explains, among other things, why you see men taking a leak more or less anyplace they feel like it. That’s they way they did it in the campo; that’s they way they do it hjere. When you gotto go, well, you gotta go. In this analysis, what’s needed are gentle, educatioinal reminders that in a big city we need to do things another way, ori t will be, well, a mess. Bag your trash . . . (or better still, put it in a can) . . .  put it out when and where it will be picked up . . .  don’t throw trash out of your car (it adds up) . . . . neighborhood “clean-up days” can help your neighborhood look nice. . . .  fixing the sidewalks is something the city government can do to help you . . . use trash cans (which the city will make more available, as in Sucre) don’t ne a “litterbug” . . . .”a cleaner Santa Cruz is up to you.” . . . . “Be a good neighbor.”

THE ENFORCEMENT APPROACH – Cruceños for many reasons including their “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” approach to life, and frequent condition of intoxication, are incurable slobs and the only thing that is going to shape them up is a recriminatory campaign that emphasizes punishments for slobbiness – fines, arrests, confiscations of licenses, and a very stern, authoritarian attitude. (Most dictatorships have very clean streets.)  If a policeman sees you throw a piece of inorganic trash out of a car window there should be a 200 Bs fine collected on the spot. A truck that dumps garbage in an unauthorized place (like the road beside my barrio) would lose its license plates. Special police would go through garbage to find out where it comes from, and make appropriate arrests. The ads would emphasize the penalties, and that trashing the city is bad behavior that must be changed – or else.

Probably these two approaches (and others you may think of) can be blended together somewhat, but you probably have to decide what your basic philosophy is. Let’s talk about it, and see if perhaps the class divides naturally into different “camps.”