The Irrigation Association launched Smart Irrigation Month in July 2005 to increase public awareness of the value of water-use efficiency and water-saving products, practices and services. The initiative is designed to:
- Educate homeowners, businesses, growers and other users about simple ways to save money and water.
- Encourage industry firms and professionals to promote smart irrigation practices and technologies to customers.
- Help water providers minimize peak water use and reduce demands on infrastructure in their communities.
- Reinforce the role efficient irrigation plays in providing real solutions to today’s water challenges.
Participating in Smart Irrigation Month can help you position your company as an expert in water conservation, raise your profile among customers and potential customers and retain customers who value your expertise and performance.
Don’t know where to start? Take a look at how IA members have worked to promote Smart Irrigation Month to their customers and employees.
CPS Distributors, Inc.
CPS Distributors, Inc., Westminster, Colo., has been a longtime supporter of the Smart Irrigation Month initiative.
“We strongly feel that Smart Irrigation Month is a great way to help educate our customers and promote smart watering technologies,” said James Martin, advertising manager at CPS.
CPS started its 2014 campaign by aggressively promoting the initiative at every CPS event in Colorado and Wyoming. For the third year in a row, CPS leadership helped obtain an official proclamation from the state of Colorado declaring July Smart Irrigation Month. CPS was also instrumental in getting proclamations from the city and county of Denver for the second consecutive year.
CPS continued its Get Smart/Water Smart initiative, implemented in 2012. The campaign promotes Smart Irrigation Month at CPS branch locations in Colorado and Wyoming through point-of-sale displays, digital media messaging and social media postings.
The company also worked with state associations to promote the initiative. With the help of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, CPS created a YouTube video featuring Gov. John Hickenlooper proclaiming July as Smart Irrigation Month. ALCC also created smart irrigation segments for Channel 9 News in Denver, an NBC affiliate, as well as a number of educational videos specifically for contractors.
DIG Corporation, Vista, Calif., launched its “Switch2Drip” campaign to educate a wide variety of audiences on the benefits of using a drip irrigation system. These efforts targeted irrigation professionals, as well as homeowners and children. DIG created a customized landing page with information and resources relevant to each of these distinct audiences.
DIG promoted the Switch2Drip campaign through social media, print and digital marketing materials, targeted e-mail blasts and press releases. The company saw high levels of engagement on its social media platforms as part of the Switch2Drip contest. Participants had to upload a photo of their future landscape project to one of DIG’s social media networks and explain what they would do with the space. The winner received $300 worth of DIG products.
The company created several one-page fact sheets and infographics available for download on its website, including:
- Checklist for Drip Specifications
- Drip Layout Examples
- Drip Starter Kit
- Five W’s of Drip
- Sprinkler vs. Drip: Water Savings & Value Comparison
- Benefits of Being IA Certified
DIG also targeted parents, creating resources with tips to help children develop good water-saving habits. The company also created an activity kit for kids with fun water facts, coloring pages, a word search and other activities. The free kit was sent to more than 200 summer camps nationwide.
Hunter Industries, Inc.
To promote Smart Irrigation Month, Hunter Industries, Inc., San Marcos, Calif., introduced the unique and engaging “Be a Hero” campaign. The campaign transformed Hunter’s top water-saving products into cartoon-style superheroes to illustrate their powers for good. Hunter used social media, print materials, email blasts and web advertising to promote their Smart Irrigation Month message to a widespread audience.
“Hunter caters to irrigation professionals. Therefore, it is critical that we educate our audience about the appropriate water-efficient methods best used in the field,” said Troy Leezy, marketing manager at Hunter. “Smart Irrigation Month is the prime time to communicate with our customers about best practices to guarantee efficient results.”
For the campaign, Hunter introduced the hero of smart irrigation: the professional contractor. In order for the contractor to truly become a hero to his clients, he needed to use various water-saving tools. To illustrate which tools were the most water-efficient, Hunter created a video titled “Be A Hero. Save Water. Save the Day.”
In the video, the contractor encountered six common water-wasting situations. The heroic contractor battled these water-wasting foes by using Hunter products to save water. Viewers could quickly learn how to combat excess water use by properly installing water-efficient products.
“Our campaign reached global audiences through various outlets. To get numerous participants involved we distributed print materials to our distributors and internal staff, created web messaging for publishing agencies, posted weekly updates to our social media sites, sent e-blasts to all our contacts, and used the Hunter home page to attract people to campaign-specific web pages,” said Leezy.
Contractors were also encouraged to enter Hunter’s contest by submitting a past or planned water-saving project and photo. Two grand prize winners were selected from entries for commercial and residential projects. The winners received credits to be redeemed at any Hunter distributor for water-efficient products to use in a future project.
Hunter also created a contest for distributors to get branches involved in promoting the Smart Irrigation Month initiative. When participants entered the online contest they were asked to select their preferred distributor branch. The branch with the most votes won a branch upgrade package. This contest encouraged distributors to talk with their customers about water conservation.
The Smart Irrigation Month promotional campaign from Irrigation-Mart, Inc., Ruston, La., focused on social media and print, radio, and web advertising. Irrigation-Mart used IA resources to develop custom irrigation tips and tricks for daily posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
“Smart Irrigation Month is important to Irrigation-Mart because water is our most precious resource and is carelessly wasted on a daily basis,” said Irrigation-Mart Advertising and Marketing Manager Danielle Gray. “Irrigation-Mart feels that it is important to bring awareness to our contractors/customers so they start irrigating smartly to save water and money.”
The company engaged local media outlets by using IA templates for press releases and public service announcements. Irrigation-Mart sent a public service announcement about the initiative to several local radio stations; the announcement was played on several stations throughout Northeast Louisiana for the entire month of July. The initiative was also covered in the Ruston Daily Leader, a local newspaper.
The sales team created a Smart Irrigation Month Savings campaign that was promoted in stores, on their website, and on all social media channels. The campaign offered deep discounts on smart irrigation items, such as controllers and weather stations.
Getting involved can be as simple as adding the Smart Irrigation Month logo to your website, ads and newsletters, or highlighting water-saving products during the month of July. Or make it a year-round celebration to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to efficient watering practices. Either way, your involvement can help to build and retain a loyal customer base and to position your company as a leader in smart water stewardship.
Visit www.smartirrigationmonth.org to take advantage of logos, press release templates, smart irrigation tips, sample proclamations, public service announcements and more.
Article provided by the Irrigation Association.