Case Study

City of Northfield Recycling Education Campaign Content Strategy and Design

The City of Northfield – located in both Rice and Dakota counties – was rolling out recycling/trash service changes (new cart sizes) and new offerings in yard waste pickup. They partnered with Neuger to develop a comprehensive and clear set of communications materials to provide current customers with information about these service changes and new offerings.

The Situation

The City of Northfield was planning to introduce new cart sizes for their recycling and trash. They needed to inform the public of these changes and provide general education about the importance of recycling properly.

The Challenge

In addition to rolling out new carts, the city wanted to educate customers on the importance of recycling properly; position themselves as a leader in and advocate for environmental practices; and provide convenient means for customers to indicate service changes or interest in enrolling in new services.

The Strategy

We worked with sanitation experts at the city to develop a clear plan of action that covered the objectives outlined above. It was important that audiences were being reached via direct mail and electronically to
ensure information was disseminated.

Given that communications needed to cater to households of all ages and backgrounds, we knew that means to indicate service changes or enrolling in new services had to accommodate different preferences (print and digital). We developed a mini communications plan that outlined timing, objectives and roles.

Content strategy for this project included developing and grouping easy-to-digest key messages tailored to the topic of each mailer in the set as well as condensing content to be clear, creative and actionable.

The Results

We executed content, design and print/mailing coordination of three mailers, each of which focused on a different component of the comprehensive message.

The first mailer introduced service changes and new offerings; provided a return envelope as well as a link to fill out a form to indicate interest; and offered recycling and yard waste facts. A magnet highlighting what can/cannot be recycled was also included.

The second mailer focused more on recycling education, while the final mailer, sent in the fall, focused on yard waste education. The mailer designs included hand-illustrations by our talented graphics team.

Nearly 20 percent of the city’s residents responded to the mailing to indicate a desire in service changes.

In addition to the mailers, we also designed corresponding graphics for the city’s social media platforms.