Long-term, Effective Outreach
Make the most of your outreach efforts and dollars by delivering consistent and repeated messaging that requests achievable behaviors from your targeted audience(s). Select the outreach tactic and delivery that makes the most sense for your funding and capacity.
Outreach about firewood transportation is most effective when it reaches the targeted demographic when they can absorb and immediately act upon your recommendations. In other words, deliver the outreach when the target audience is thinking about building their next campfire. Outreach for the outdoor recreational user of firewood has multiple potential moments for deploying your outreach:
- thinking about planning a camping trip;
- researching the details of the trip;
- booking a specific location;
- packing the vehicle and traveling to the campsite;
- and arriving at the destination.
Whenever possible, take advantage of opportunities to encourage proactive choices long before the firewood is packed into the vehicle.
The Don’t Move Firewood campaign has created a strategic plan (Table below) of how to deliver outreach tied to the various stages of a camping trip. This plan is broken into distinct phases: idea, preparation, decision, and go! Outreach in the idea phase influences firewood decisions before camping choices are made. Outreach targeting the preparation and decision phases influences firewood decisions as camping choices are made. Outreach targeting the go phase happens after the decision to move firewood has been made. In this model, outreach during the go phase can influence future firewood decisions and behaviors for the next trip, but not the current trip.
- Plan outreach activities to reach the target audience – campers and outdoor recreationalists, rather than the general public.
- State the desired, expected, or required outcome/behavior. Emphasize achievable and proactive behaviors- this is more likely to result in the expected outcome when compared to messaging focused strictly on avoiding certain behaviors. For example, “Buy it where you burn it!” provides an achievable proactive step that can be taken to protect resources. Other messages can include: “Buy certified heat treated firewood”, “Buy local firewood”, or “Gather local firewood.” Ensure that your recommended actions are readily available in your state and region.
- The targeted demographic should be reasonably able to execute the desired outcome/behavior. Encouraging use of certified heat-treated firewood in areas where it is not generally available will not result in the desired behavioral change. Use messaging that reassures campers that it is easy or convenient to adopt the recommended firewood choices. For instance, incorporating firewood into the cost of a campsite, or listing firewood vendors in an on-line directory will help campers change their behaviors.
- Provide consistent, repeated, and trusted messages to the targeted demographic. A consistent message, posted on a variety of relevant state, federal, and/or private websites, from multiple entry points, will help recreational firewood users hear, internalize, and adopt the desired behaviors.
Direct Outreach to Campers
|Phase||Camper Thought Process||Appropriate Outreach Activities|
|Idea||Let’s go camping!||Any awareness from previous contact with firewood messages, such as brochures distributed at campgrounds or billboards on highways.|
|Preparation||Where should we go?||Social media excels at delivering relevant content to targeted users. Users may search for campgrounds on Facebook, Google, or other online search tools. Use Google AdWords or targeted Facebook Ads to deliver firewood messaging to users while they’re exploring places to camp. Use developed messages on Agency websites and social media.|
|Preparation||Reserving our campsite||Use developed messages on Agency websites and social media. Work with Recreation.gov and Reserve America to place or update firewood transportation messaging on their sites for campgrounds in your state. Work with other campgrounds (private, concessionaire) to ensure consistent messaging on their websites.|
|Preparation||Trip’s coming up, what should we bring?||Work with campgrounds to include firewood outreach in their confirmation emails and within the general information pages of their sites. Direct users to the state agency firewood webpage and the Don’t Move Firewood Map for more information.|
|Decision||Packing the vehicle – what are we going to do about firewood?||Use an on-line directory to provide information about availability of firewood. Encourage campgrounds to put information about on-site or local firewood availability on their websites and social media. Firewood must be perceived as available for the public to follow through with the new behavior.|
|Go||Going camping!||Campground signage or brochures. Billboards on route to Campground. Park Ranger information.|