Rubbish can be a touchy subject, so when Auckland Council wanted to promote upcoming changes to its waste management programme that would impact every resident of the city, it reached out to Wright Communications to develop and implement an effective PR strategy.
In 2014 Auckland Council approached Wright Communications for PR support for its Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP), which aims to standardise the rules inherited from legacy councils and give Auckland a unified waste collection regime. The multi-stage project is described as integral to the Auckland Council achieving its ambitious target of zero waste to landfills by 2040. The Auckland Council was mindful of the sensitive nature of the subject, the need to engage Aucklanders and the risk of negative publicity around some of the proposed changes to how waste is collected in Auckland.
The Wright approach
Wright Communications drew on its extensive experience in the local government sector to provide strategic support and public relations planning for the WMMP. It put together a PR strategy for the whole of the project and managed the PR for the first two stages, including a "Recycle Right" campaign. To raise awareness of the issue, Wright Communications had a recycling truck dump its whole load in the middle of Aotea Square, and had people, including Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, sorting through it as the media and public looked on. This, combined with a multi faceted media campaign ensured the "Recycle Right" messages got out to Aucklanders. Wright Communications also worked with Auckland Council to ensure that media coverage of the WMMP changes was fair and balanced.