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January 05, 2016

Give your car a break!

Give your car a break!
Lessons learned from the Let Your Green Show (LYGS) campaign were recently presented at the 2015 OPPI Conference.
LYGS is a collaboration of The Region of Peel,  City of BramptonTown of Caledon, City of Mississauga; Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) and Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA). The campaign is in response to the Peel Climate Change Strategy and the Mississauga Living Green Master Plan.

Through the LYGS campaign, Peel residents were encouraged to take action on climate change in their communities.
  • In 2012, Phase 1 encouraged City of Mississauga residents to ‘Grow Local and Eat Local’ with over 500 residents participating.
  • In 2013, Phase 2 of the campaign expanded to all of Peel and focused on ‘Using Less Water’ with close to 1,500 residents being involved.
  • In 2014, Phase 3 used social media to “Give Your Car a Break’ with the introduction of Facebook and Twitter. LYGS has grown into a community of over 5,500 people on Facebook and Twitter. Over 40% of those who participated in Let Your Green Show committed to taking transit, walking, cycling or rollerblading.

Delegates at the 2015 OPPI Conference learned about the challenges associated with social media as an engagement tool in LYGS Phase 3, including resources and logistics required to undertake a public sector social media campaign.
The following lessons learned were shared with participants:
  • Public engagement campaign (like the LYGS) changes behaviour in the short-term, but in order to effectively reinforce long-term behaviour change, policy intervention should also be in place.
  • Identify and design the campaign based on core values of the audience (desire to save the planet, e.g.) so that desired behaviour change continues even after campaign is over.
  • Define what you are going to measure when you plan the campaign, monitor while you run, and measure your success afterwards. 

Some discussion questions. We want to hear from you in the comments section below!
  • Are there any lessons you have learned in a public engagement campaign you were involved with?
  • How do you anticipate you would roll out a social media strategy? How do you measure the success of a public engagement campaign? What are your indicators? 

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The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author(s), and may not reflect the position of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute.

Post by Liliana da Silva (Region of Peel), Mary Bracken (City of Mississauga)

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