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Community-based social marketing (CBSM) is a method that uses community resources and partnerships to promote healthy behaviors. Community-based social marketing borrows from the success of face-to-face community organizing to build online engagement around shared issues and causes. This is done by mobilizing community members to take collective action through social media.

While this may sound like a lot of work, research has shown that community-based social marketing can be an effective way to engage people in sustainable behavior change. This method can be a fun and rewarding way to connect with others who care about fostering sustainable behavior.

What Is Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM)?

The CBSM method has been used all over the world by community-based social marketers to encourage people to adopt environmentally-friendly practices like conserving energy, recycling, and composting. Drawing from social psychology, community-based social marketing creates change through community engagement and interaction. It uses the idea that people are more likely to change their behavior when they are socially involved and when the change occurs at a community level. This method is used to create more sustainable communities around the globe.

How To Enact Change Through Community-Based Social Marketing

Creating a healthy community takes time, effort, and commitment — but it’s worth the effort to promote a sustainable future.  Start with in-depth research. This means getting to know the people who live in the community — their needs, wants, and limitations.

Select the Undesirable Behaviors 

Your first step is to identify the most undesirable behaviors that you want to change. This could be anything from throwing trash in toilets to not properly composting. When done, you can create appropriate programs or campaigns for each behavior.

A social marketing campaign needs to focus on end-state behaviors. These are actions that will produce the desired sustainable behavior change. For example, to reduce litter in your community, your end-state behavior would be to properly dispose of trash. Make sure your campaign targets that specific behavior.

Identify Barriers and Benefits

Many barriers can prevent people in your community from enacting sustainable behavior change. Some may not be aware of the issue or may not feel like they have the power to make a difference. Others may be reluctant to change their behavior or may not have the resources necessary to do so.

Community-based social marketers should uncover multiple barriers and work on developing strategies for community members to overcome the barriers and take action. Identifying barriers is an important step you can’t miss when creating a CBSM campaign.


When it comes to enabling change, research is key. You need to know what has worked in the past (and what hasn’t) in order to create a successful plan for the future. Read articles, research papers, and anything else you can get your hands on. Talk to people who have been successful in similar endeavors. With the right information, you can achieve significant influence with real and lasting change.


Observing people doing an undesired behavior allows you to understand the root causes of that behavior and its various motivations. This gives insight into how you can better intervene and provide solutions that are tailored to fit the specific needs of those individuals.

Host Focus Groups

Focus groups allow for open dialogue and opinion-sharing. Through a facilitated discussion, participants are able to share their perspectives and experiences related to the behavior and barriers that have been identified by local community change seekers. Information gathered can then be used to develop strategies for making positive changes.

Conduct a Survey

To create an effective survey, first identify the target population, taking into consideration any demographic characteristics important to the issue being surveyed. Then devise a series of multiple-choice or scale questions that address the issue. Questions should be short enough so people are not discouraged from completing them, yet provide enough detail for meaningful results.

Develop Your Strategy

Once you have compiled and evaluated all the information, it is time to create a plan for enacting change in the community. There are seven areas of focus for successfully implementing this change: commitment, social norms, social diffusion, prompts, communication, incentives, and convenience. 

  • Commitment refers to how dedicated the group or individuals leading the effort are to achieving the desired change. Without a dedication to a sustained effort over time, progress will be slow or nonexistent. 
  • Social norms refer to existing standards within a community around what behaviors are expected or accepted; in order to enact meaningful change one must understand the current social dynamics and cultural values of any given community.
  • Social diffusion describes how an idea can quickly spread through word-of-mouth and personal relationships; using such methods of communication can help ensure that information about the initiative program reaches those who need it most quickly. 
  • Commitment involves providing reminders to community members when they may forget or not be aware of something related to the initiative; things like signs or emails can serve as helpful reminders in this regard. 
  • Communication is key when trying to reach out beyond immediate networks and circles; any successful campaign needs to make sure its message spreads far enough so that everyone has access to it easily.
  • Incentives are also important when trying to drive people towards certain behavior changes; offering rewards for completing certain tasks related to an initiative can help garner more enthusiasm from the public and achieve better results overall. 
  • Convenience should always be kept in mind when planning an implementation strategy; making sure that people can interact with an initiative easily by providing clear instructions or simple tools will encourage more participation from members of the community.

It is essential for success that each of these areas is thoroughly considered and given significant attention. 

Do a Pilot Program

A pilot program will allow you to assess whether your strategies will work in practice and provide valuable insight into their potential success. Start with a small group of participants and evaluate feedback from participants to make improvements necessary before full-scale implementation. With access to data and feedback from participants, pilot programs can help ensure that resources are allocated wisely and that changes have maximum impact on all involved.

Full-Scale Implementation

After analyzing the results of the pilot, it is important to use what was learned from it to improve and iterate on the strategy before launch. Additionally, it is important to keep records throughout the process so that you can track the impact and outcomes of your efforts. Keeping detailed records on each step of your process allows you to understand both successes and failures in order to better adjust your strategy accordingly. 

With this information, you can make data-driven decisions as you progress further into enacting change in your community. Overall, having a well-thought-out plan that is tested in advance and tracked through detailed records is essential for successfully shifting community behavior in a healthier direction.

Bring Community Change With CBSM from Goldstreet 

Goldstreet’s CBSM approach helps local government bodies and communities bring about lasting change. We leverage both social and economic theories to identify the most effective strategies to improve a community’s health and well-being. Goldstreet’s approach is comprehensive, involving a variety of stakeholders in the process of change.

Goldstreet partners with local organizations and government agencies to reduce public health risks in their communities. Our goal is to help people make healthier decisions by understanding how their current behaviors are impacting their health and providing them with access to better options.

With an emphasis on data-driven solutions backed by research methods, Goldstreet evaluates its work for continued effectiveness over time to ensure that its interventions are doing what they set out to do — bringing about meaningful change for communities. Get in touch with Goldstreet today and let’s create outcomes that are cost-effective, long-term, and durable.

Imagine if every time you went to use the restroom, the toilet was filled with trash or paper towels. Unfortunately, this is a reality for many people across the country. Public restrooms are often used as garbage cans, leading to unsanitary conditions. Cigarette butts, candy wrappers, gum, and tissue are just a few items that many people throw in public toilet tanks.

What many people don’t realize is that improper disposal of trash can lead to major plumbing and sewer problems for the whole community. This is why it’s so important for government officials to educate their citizens about the importance of not throwing trash in public toilets and the costly problems that occur when trash is flushed. By raising awareness about the consequences of this harmful habit of throwing trash or paper towels in toilet tanks, government officials can help to keep public toilets and their communities clean and healthy.

Why Not To Throw Trash in the Toilet

Throwing trash in public toilets can have damaging consequences for both the environment and public health. Every time someone flushes a toilet with trash in it, they are clogging up the pipes and putting unnecessary strain on the septic system. Not to mention, it’s just unsanitary.

Blocked septic systems lead to sewage overflows, thereby contaminating waterways. This creates breeding grounds for bacteria and insects, which can spread disease, harming the community and the environment.

So next time you’re tempted to throw your trash such as cat litter, cotton balls, dental floss, plastic, or feminine products, in the toilet, remember that it’s not worth the risk of making yourself or your community sick and creating a plumbing nightmare. Throw your trash in the bin and help keep our public restrooms clean and safe for everyone. The only things that belong in a toilet are toilet paper and human waste.

7 Ways To Prevent Trash in Toilets

Local government officials are in a unique position to get the message out to their citizens about why they should not throw trash in the toilet. If you’re looking for ways to educate your community, here are seven tips that might help.

1. Send Out Community Postcards

If you’re looking for a way to bring awareness to this issue, consider creating a postcard that tells community members why it is harmful to throw trash in a toilet tank. This postcard can be distributed through local schools, libraries, and community centers.

2. Post on Social Media

You can create a graphic and share it on community pages on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The graphic can be an interesting and creative way of showing what can happen when trash, paper towels, plastic wrappers, or feminine products, are flushed down the toilet, urging people to dispose of their waste properly.

3. Send Out Bill Inserts

Bill inserts can be a great tool for sending out the message “Do not throw trash in the toilet” to the community. Sending inserts can reach a wide audience with an important message. And because they’re easy to read and usually contain other important information, people are more likely to read them.

4. Distribute Door Hangers

Public service workers can canvas the neighborhoods and put custom door hangers calling attention to the community problem of throwing trash or paper towels in toilets. Door hangers are an effective way to reach a large number of people and are easily hung. Plus, they can be distributed quickly and easily by volunteers. In addition, door hangers are often kept as mementos or keepsakes, which can help to create a positive association in the community.

5. Hang Signs in Public Restrooms

Hanging signs on just about any wall in the restrooms of public spaces, such as centers, town halls, parks, and public libraries, is an effective way to remind users to not throw trash in the toilet. A wall sign can be simple and to the point, or it can be creative and humorous. Either way, a great wall sign design will help to remind people of the proper way to dispose of their trash. 

6. Make a Video PSA 

A video PSA, or public service announcement, is a short film or video that raises awareness about a particular issue or concern. Video PSAs are designed to educate and engage viewers so that they will be motivated to take action. You can create a video PSA to share online through email newsletters and social media to remind community members why they need to be paying attention to what they put in the toilet.

7. Use Van or Truck Stickers

Consider putting a custom-made sticker on the side of public utility vehicles to advertise the cause all over town. With any luck, these stickers would help to educate people about the importance of keeping your public restrooms clean.

As a local government worker, you can help prevent people from throwing trash in the toilet. By taking these simple steps, you can raise awareness about this problem and keep our environment clean.

Partner With Goldstreet Designs Today

Goldstreet Designs is on a mission to help local governments by providing public outreach solutions that grab attention and get results. We partner with forward-thinking organizations like yours to get the word out and make a lasting difference. Together, we can build healthier communities and protect our environment.

Contact Goldstreet Designs today to learn more about how we can partner with you to make a difference. Let’s work together to keep our communities clean and healthy.

Marketing for small businesses makes sense to draw in new customers, but local government officials may think that logo design and branding services aren’t something they need to worry about.

After all, every resident who pays taxes is already a paying customer. And yet, that’s exactly why it’s so important for local governments to share their good news and community value.

Even in the face of tight budgets, in which every dollar you invest must be well-thought-out for the long-term benefit of the municipality, marketing for local governments makes sense. Along with community needs like education, healthcare, law enforcement, emergency services, and infrastructure costs, marketing and developing a good brand identity is an investment in the future.

The return on investment, or ROI, may surprise government officials who don’t have a background in marketing. By budgeting for logo design and branding, you’ll improve your community relations, enact greater change through clear initiatives, and encourage more people to live and do business within your borders.

Why Marketing Is Critical for Local Governments

Proactively informing the community about the work you’re doing and the value of your municipality is a vital part of daily government operations. Marketing matters for local governments for the following reasons.

It’s a Powerful Public Outreach Tool

You cannot rely on local media, like the newspaper or local television stations, to tell the community about the important work you are doing on their behalf. Local government officials need to shape their own story, making it clear to voters and residents how they’re contributing to improving their own community. The best way to do this is through marketing efforts. 

Increased Tourism Brings Income

A thriving municipality requires a healthy mix of quality living environments and a robust commercial area. By sharing the positive qualities of your area with people who may not live within your borders, you’ll improve the quality of life for local business owners and residents alike. You can also bring in more funds after launching a successful clothing brand.

Marketing Focuses on the Positive 

It’s easy for people to find things to complain about, but not if a local government makes the effort to share the good instead. Marketing, especially through logo design and branding, naturally focuses the discussion on all the reasons why people love living and visiting your community. By working together, it’s easier to overcome problems that naturally come up as part of day-to-day local government operations.

What Are Logo and Branding Services?

At least once a year, local government officials or a dedicated committee should work together to create a comprehensive marketing plan that schedules and budgets for outreach initiatives that take place every month. 

This dynamic document can focus on creating a brand for the community. If you don’t already have a logo, that’s your first task.

Logo Work

Logos are a combination of a unique image and aesthetically pleasing font that gives viewers a quick understanding of what your local government values and offers. You may think, ‘it’s just a logo’, but logo designs are useful for creating a visual identity and enforcing brand identity.

For example, a logo for a coastal town in South Florida may include an artistic rendering of a palm tree by the beach, while a farming city in Nebraska could have a logo featuring an ear of corn. Both quickly show what a visitor could expect. 

To make the process easier, create logos with a team of marketing professionals who understand the benefits and limitations of partnering with a local government, like  GoldStreet Designs. These design services are invaluable when it comes to the gritty details of design, like choosing the brand fonts and creating specifically for web design and mobile apps.

Branding Efforts

Sometimes, creating a new look for a logo is just the start of a greater branding effort. A brand includes visual elements that match across all marketing materials. Imagine matching colors, fonts, layout designs, and other elements without having to discuss it every time. 

For example, the  City of Bloomington Utilities created a style guide that outlined a uniform style to set a foundation for creating a brand that residents and visitors could know and trust. Another branding effort, the Ross Valley Sanitary District, included a logo that highlighted the government’s priority on clean waters and mountains. Professional design skills can help promote the brand’s identity and make a lasting impression.

The ROI of Logo Design and Branding Services for Local Governments

When local governments invest a relatively small amount into an updated logo or greater branding initiative, leaders discover that the target audience in the community experience measurable positive impacts. This marketing work demands that people come together and agree on the identity of an area — and the fresh brand demonstrates this pride.

It can take some work to unveil new branding efforts for a community. As a result, fresh logos and style guides are designed to work in today’s world and stand the test of time. By collaborating with professional marketing executives experienced with local governments, the ROI will be large and last for years.  

What’s more, logo and branding work can help craft a specific message, image, or attitude that you want to reflect for your community. The logo and visual brand identity is effective product packaging for your municipality. Local governments have the power to share a specific demographic makeup, mission, or general perception that sets them apart from every other municipality in the nation.

When you effectively share your story as a local government and community, it becomes easier to generate additional community investment through both internal and external sources. You’ll benefit from an improved perception of your community, and your local government will be viewed as a modern, forward-thinking place.

A Fresh Look: Logo and Branding Services Pay Off

There are both qualitative and quantitative ways to measure if innovative marketing initiatives are working for your local government. You can run market research and gather the opinions of your residents through community surveys. You can compare investment budgets of new enrichment projects. You can collect feedback from local business owners to determine increases in tourist dollars.

With all marketing plans, it’s a good idea to start with a goal in mind. That way, as you work in partnership with marketing professionals on logo design and brand image, you’ll be able to properly measure the ROI in a way that proves to constituents and elected officials alike that these efforts are paying off. 

It won’t take long for decision-makers within local governments to use their fresh brands and logos to spread the word of a new promise to their community. Together, they’ll be ready for the future — and look great at the same time. Get started by reaching out to  GoldStreet Designs today.


Representatives of local municipalities know their decisions and budget allocations are always open for review and, as a result, scrutiny. But there’s a way to create strong relationships with the community that are positive and beneficial for progress — using creative agency services.

By integrating creative agencies into your daily government programs, you’ll discover that local officials can lead discussions in a way that encourages a better connection with the community. Even with combative individuals, using a digital agency to foster effective communication can turn a challenging situation into a productive one. 

Creative services, like those offered by  GoldStreet Designs, can make a measurable difference in enhancing a positive relationship with the community. We’ve got the hard evidence to prove it.

What Are Creative Agency Services?

Creative agencies include a wide array of marketing services designed to share a message with a specific target audience. GoldStreet Designs offers work in print, on the web, on social media, and through video. Local municipalities can work with a team of creative professionals to determine what kinds of initiatives make the most sense to reach their goals. 

Some specific advertising services include:

  • Vehicle wraps and truck stickers
  • Custom videos to tell a clear story about specific initiatives
  • Print collateral to hand out for residents to read later
  • Infographics to make information easy to read and understand
  • Maps for highly technical projects as well as visitor-focused cartoons
  • Illustrations for making outreach initiatives more attractive
  • Event booth displays for farmer’s markets or other community events
  • Digital marketing flipbooks to share on all devices
  • Electronic billboard designs
  • Powerpoint slides for community presentations
  • Public service announcements for radio, newspapers, or television
  • Translation services to keep all residents involved
  • Newsletters and annual reports built for search engine optimization
  • Welcome packets for new residents
  • Logo and branding services

Any outreach work that involves graphic design, professional writing, and other marketing tools needs a partnership with professionals who understand the limitations and considerations that local municipalities face. Creative agencies are a solution to these challenging and sometimes controversial marketing efforts.

Why Creative Agencies Are Effective

Creative agencies specialize in various sectors like market research, business management, design services, and more. Partnering with an agency that specializes specifically in creative services for local municipalities will save time and money while improving communication and support among local residents. But that’s not the only reason why creative agencies are effective. Here are some other reasons to consider.

Improves the Image of Local Municipalities

It’s difficult to manage the talk surrounding your municipality, especially after local media representatives or certain residents misunderstand a project. By getting ahead with targeted outreach and innovative solutions, you’ll be able to improve the image of your municipality without having to manage any backlash. Digital agencies with a proven track record of developing a great marketing strategy for municipalities will be the best choice.

Promotes Engagement

Residents appreciate transparency, and full-service creative agencies offer an outlet for sharing upcoming projects in a clear, engaging way.

Increases Customer Readership

Visually appealing content is always received better, making it more likely that residents will read bill inserts, information about rate increases, and other important documents worth sharing with constituents.

Keeps the Community Informed

You won’t have to rely on local media outlets to share the latest news when your municipality is partnered with a creative advertising agency. The more you take control of your messaging, the more your residents will feel involved and appreciated by their representatives and public officials.

Success Stories of Creative Services for Local Municipalities

Hard evidence that supports the use of creative services can be found in success stories from other municipalities. Their campaigns were well-received because they partnered with the marketing professionals at  Goldstreet Designs. Here are a few examples of their success.

City of Redding: “Think Before You Flush”

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused a toilet paper shortage, residents in the city of  Redding, California used paper towels — one even used an old t-shirt. While wastewater workers acted quickly to prevent a sewage spill from clogged lines, city officials placed door hangers on homes to remind them what was safe to flush. It made national news and stopped a potentially dangerous crisis. 

City of Monmouth: City Leaf Program Brochure

City officials in Monmouth were concerned that residents didn’t understand the city leaf pickup program, which helped prevent debris and pollution in their local storm systems. They collaborated with GoldStreet Designs to create a full-color brochure, which was mailed to city residents. As a result, residents followed the guidelines and kept storm drains clear.

To read more about the success of GoldStreet clients,  check it out here.

GoldStreet’s Creative Agency Services Product Results 

Ready to work with creative professionals at GoldStreet for your next community engagement project? Schedule a free 30-minute consultation meeting today.

Public Outreach Hurdles Facing Local Governments

If you’re part of a local government body, no matter how small or large, you already know that your government must remain in close connection with its citizens to effectively run the city, town, or municipality that you oversee. As such, public outreach is an essential component of effective government management. It goes beyond merely offering generic statements and bland information to the public — feedback and mutual communication are crucial. 

That being said, what is a public outreach program? In most cases, an effective government public outreach program requires  active, two-way communication between the government and the citizens of your local area. Government workers must take an active role in reaching out to the public through a diverse range of avenues, gathering feedback, listening to concerns, and effectively explaining your government’s positions on a range of relevant local issues. 

This kind of comprehensive public outreach will provide you and your government with essential data on the views and preferences of your citizens and improve the trust and support between citizens and their local government. 

However, many local governments find themselves facing hurdles to their public outreach programs, which limits how well they can build trust with — and acquire meaningful information from — their citizens. Read on to learn about some of the main issues that prevent local governments from building effective public outreach programs. 

Limited Marketing or Public Outreach Budgets

As you can probably attest, budget constraints are usually the biggest problem for anything government-related. This also applies to public outreach programs.

It’s a good idea to detail the numerous benefits of public outreach programs for your local governmental budget. Doing so will justify setting aside a larger share of public funds for this purpose. Effective public relations partners, such as GoldStreet Designs, can also help you put together excellent media to raise awareness with a limited budget. There are also options like contacting a fundraising agency or raising money locally to help ensure a good pay return.

Lack of Resources or Expertise

Government public outreach programs can also suffer due to a more general lack of necessary resources or expertise. Most offices in local governments aren’t staffed by people with specific expertise in the field of public relations and public outreach. So even if your local government fully understands the importance of public outreach programs, it may still struggle to implement an effective program since the people involved don’t have the skills and know-how.

Outdated Campaign Ideas

Another issue that often comes up with attempts at governmental public outreach is an outdated understanding of your local constituency and the public relations solutions that would work best for them. If your local government is working with ideas about public reception and/or public relations that are no longer accurate, it will have a hard time implementing effective outreach programs. This is especially true when trying to create programs that reach out to younger people in your community. 

Boring or Unengaging Public Outreach

This issue cuts to the heart of the matter. Quite frankly, local government can often be boring and unengaging, and thus public outreach efforts from local governments often suffer from this as well. If your government’s public outreach doesn’t attract and retain the attention of your citizens, you’re unlikely to build a strong and lasting relationship with the community at large. Ask for internal employee reviews on the projected success of a campaign to make sure it’s actually engaging. 

Failure to Employ Targeted Advertisements

In many ways, public outreach by local governments has similar requirements to ad campaigns by major companies. It isn’t enough to just know who you’re trying to reach — you also need to know how to target your outreach efforts to best connect with them. Even if you understand the baseline composition of your local citizenry, a public outreach program will likely fall flat if you’re unable to reach them through targeted ads. 

Inadequate Investment in Social Media

Social media has recently emerged as a major player in public outreach efforts. While traditional outreach avenues like television advertisements and in-person public forums still have their place, an effective public outreach program needs to take advantage of social media to maximize its opportunities to reach new and diverse groups. It also takes time to get PR program sign-ups from social media ads. Government public outreach managers may give up on a social media campaign before it’s time.

Limited or Inconsistent Public Engagement on the Part of Public Officials

Public officials are usually taxed for time. But given the importance of public outreach programs, it’s a good idea to dedicate a more significant amount of your time and resources towards public engagement to build better relationships with the public and acquire more valuable information on public opinions. While few government officials have the job title ‘public outreach manager,’ there are still ways that government employees can assist in developing helpful PR programs.

Failure to Engage in Comprehensive Cross-sections of Residents

All local government constituencies are diverse, no matter how large or small the population. As such, they will offer a wide range of different perspectives and values. Public outreach efforts by local governments can suffer in light of the limited range of citizens that tend to be most vocal. 

Local governments should proactively reach larger cross-sections of the citizenry and engage with all relevant viewpoints to get a more comprehensive view of where constituents lie in regard to key issues. 

Misunderstanding the “Baseline” of a Particular Issue

Unfortunately, many local governments don’t know where their citizens stand on key issues at all. Do citizens care about implementing standard work-life balance programs, upping local job security, or face-to-face politician meetings? If you wish to implement an effective public outreach program, you should work towards getting a clear initial picture of what your citizens expect from their government and where there’s possible room to move both closer to each other. 

Questions That Don’t Lead to Useful Data

Finally, if you want to get meaningful data by engaging your citizens effectively, you need to ask the right questions. After all, even the best-funded and most enthusiastic public outreach programs won’t be particularly effective if they ask the wrong questions. Public outreach professionals are an excellent resource for getting the best questions for your citizens, getting the best data, and building the best relationships between citizens and government. 

Goldstreet Designs for Your Public Outreach Needs

When dealing with these and other issues, public relations professionals are an invaluable asset. Goldstreet Designs is a national leader in providing public outreach solutions for local governments, having successfully worked with 480 local governmental agencies to craft public outreach programs that meet the needs of both governments and citizens. If you’re a local government official in need of excellent public outreach programs, get in touch with Goldstreet Designs today.