Members of the Logan Environmental Action Force are distributing posters to businesses across town to increase awareness on idling and its impact on Cache Valley’s air quality.
“I think it has the potential to reach audiences that otherwise would be apathetic or uninterested in anti-idling movements,” said Piper Christian, the president of the Logan High club.
Reaching out to different groups in Logan will help the club to pursue a broader audience of people willing to think about the impact of idling, Christian said.
A few initiatives Christian said she has noticed regarding environmental stewardships seem to target adults through scientific terms, something often considered ineffective in allowing an adult to fully fathom an advertisement or message, she said. In juxtaposition, humor, a marketing technique effective on children and teens, can be applied to adults as well and will help the message resonate more with them than science might.
“When we’re creating these posters and bringing humor and usefulness to them, we capture the interest of adults in a whole new way and kind of open a dialogue of people who feel more interested in listening to them,” Christian said.
One of the primary reasons for targeting adults is many of them have children in the school system, LEAF Historian Victoria Stafford said. The idea is they will see a poster that their own student or student’s friends has developed and it will influence them.
At a Logan Municipal Council meeting in April, members of the club spoke about how air quality impacts their own lives and hobbies, using their personal stories as a lens for why messages on air quality need to be disseminated in the community.
“The reason they did that was to show that it actually impacts us every day,” Victoria Stafford said. “I think Cache Valley residents don’t necessarily see the real-life implications it has.”
Last year when LEAF placed posters into businesses in Logan such as Caffe Ibis and Macey’s, the posters started to come down one to two months later. Ed Stafford, a professor of marketing in the John M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, said he hopes to get a commitment from shopkeepers to allow them to stay up for longer.
Aiming to analyze the impact of air quality advertisements on Cache Valley residents, Ed Stafford has prepared a study to go into effect once the posters are placed around town.
Although LEAF has yet to put the posters into local businesses, Stafford said once they are up, the impact will be twofold: For one, Stafford and LEAF hope the posters will encourage people to idle less. Second, they are part of a study Stafford and a colleague, Alexi Lamm, are conducting regarding which type of public service announcements work best in Cache Valley.
The study, he said, is not yet public, but it will require focus groups this summer and information should become available in the fall.