Whatcom County Public Works (WCPW) is requesting proposals from qualified marketing firms to provide support for a social marketing project to reduce fecal coliform bacteria pollution in Whatcom County surface waters from failing or improperly maintained septic systems through routine operation and maintenance. Septic systems are one of many sources contributing to fecal coliform bacteria pollution in surface and marine waters in Whatcom County. The County Health Department requires regular septic inspections throughout the county with specific follow up in designated Marine Resource Areas (MRAs) and Sensitive Areas. There are approximately 20,000 septic systems located in coastal watersheds in Whatcom County.
The largest of Whatcom County departments, Public Works’ primary objective is to maintain the integrity of the Whatcom County Road System in an efficient, cost effective manner that provides safe travel for the public.
Scope of Work:
The selected consultant will assist WCPW staff to develop and implement an educational campaign to foster sustainable behavior of routine septic system operation and maintenance using social marketing techniques. This campaign will be a pilot project building upon a Community Outreach Workshop presented by Environmental Finance Center (EFC) West in February 2017 and subsequent follow up work (first and second steps of the project described below). The first step in the process involved conducting a survey and has been completed. WCPW staff worked with EFC West to create and implement a survey for Whatcom County residents that live in a home with a septic system. EFC West has evaluated the results of the survey and delivered an analysis report to WCPW.
The second step in the process is underway. WCPW staff and partners will have a follow up working group on August 7th with EFC West to identify target audiences and persona, barriers and messages, and possible promotional tools. Following the planning process, the septic outreach campaign will be implemented and evaluated.
Project duration: September 2018 – May 2019
- Evaluate existing materials and identify gaps in county outreach materials directed at desired behaviors. Review materials for consistency of messaging and identify gaps.
- Create a strategic plan and timeline for development, promotion and placement of communication materials.
- Create compelling and effective communications materials based on 2018 septic maintenance survey results, August working group summary, and any other identified gaps. Outreach materials will include targeted messaging focused on desired behaviors. Materials may include Facebook posts, brochures, direct mailings, radio ads, videos, or other suggested mediums.
- Generate and implement a plan for post-project evaluation and provide a summary report with future recommendations based on project evaluation.
Attn: Sara Winger, Purchasing Coordinator
Whatcom County AS Finance/Purchasing
311 Grand Avenue, Suite 503
Bellingham, Washington 98225
Agencies to consider include MWWPR and DKC PR.
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