Comms Planning

The doody-free water project


Assignment :Create a communications plan to encourage people to pick up their dog's poop.

The problem

 People don't take dog shit seriously. 

Talking to strangers

People pick up dog poop because it is gross or because it's polite to their neighbors, but that still doesn't make them do it all of the time. 

When they don't its because:

  • People think all animals poop, so poop is natural and biodegradable.
  • People don't think they have to pick up dog poop if it is out of way.
  • Nobody is around to judge them if they don't.

What they don't know

 Yes it is true that everybody poops, but an ecosystem can only handle the waste of 2 dogs per square mile. The city of Richmond has approximately 480 dogs per square mile.

So why are we letting them know

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies dog poop to be as toxic as chemical and oil spills.  Dog poop is now the 3rd highest cause of water pollution in overpopulated ecosystems and is a human health hazard that can transmit diseases. 


People don't understand the danger of not picking up dog poop.


Get Richmond dog owners to pick up their dog's poop consistently.


  • For those who were picking up their dog poop, it was because society had judged them into doing so by pushing common courtesy.
  • Dog poop was seen as an eyesore that no one wanted on their lawns or on their shoes.
  • People were motivated solely by the appearance of their communities, but what about its long term safety?


Change the perception of dog poop to a safety issue.


"It's Your Doody" : to communicate that picking up dog poop isn't just a common courtesy, but it is your civic duty. 


Doody the Dog

The campaign is centralized through the mascot, Doody the Dog. Like Smokey the Bear before him, Doody will provide a unified message, authority and recognition to the campaign.

Communications Plan



Twitter will be a place to confront the misperceptions people have around dog poop and instill a sense of responsibility in dog owners for their dogs waste.


 Use instagram to showcase dogs around richmond to reinforce the Richmond dog owner community and their ownership over their dog's poop.


Change the way we talk to people about dog poop.


All dog parks have waste receptacles that remind dog owners to pick up their poop, but they do not tell them way.  It is wasted real estate. We will redesign waste receptacles to explain to dog owners that dog waste is toxic waste.

Richmond is a very walkable city , especially when it comes to dog walking, but there are no city provided waste receptacles in residential areas. This has caused people to buy their own lawn signs to encourage dog owners to pick up their dog's poop. Since people are already going out of their way to buy these signs, we will use them as another communications touch point and make them more functional by installing them with doggie bags. 

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Branded Bags:

Newspaper bags are often used to pick up dog poop so we will send "It's Your Doody" branded doggie bags with every Richmond Times-Dispatch, along with a press release about the campaign.

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