Tapping emotions for behavior change for the common good.

Government agencies rely on citizens to make real change. Sometimes change is necessary to save taxpayer dollars. Sometimes it’s necessary to meet new regulations or mandates. Ultimately, changing behavior is for the common good. But, it’s not always easy.

We motivate people to action, changing habits to conserve water, recycle, wear seatbelts and more. We help communities save money, save lives and improve humanity through communication programs that touch the heart and minds of audiences. We have the unmatched skill and passion to affect change. No one does it better than Crocker & Crocker.

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Put a Cork In It!

Customers Respond to Call for Water Use Reductions

Customers Respond to Call
for Water Use Reductions

Client: San Juan Water DistrictprintBtn
Project: Water Conservation Program


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The district’s retail customers have reduced water use on average by 30 percent since February … Water reductions were as high as 53 percent in March 2014.


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San Juan Water District’s retail customers rely entirely on surface water supplies from Folsom Lake. The district had to take drastic conservation measures due to extremely low water levels. The district was the first in the region to implement voluntary conservation measures in late 2013 and one of the first in the state to proceed with mandatory water restrictions in February 2014. Their customers needed immediate information about changes in water supplies, rate increases and mandatory conservation measures.

Crocker & Crocker developed a plan that would initiate behavior change by reaching as many customers as possible with conservation messaging and information. It was critical that all of the district’s customers changed their water use habits. The program needed to begin immediately. However, flexibility was key since Mother Nature’s impacts to water supplies dictated the direction of the effort. Key elements of this successful program included:

  • Branded outreach materials
  • Key messages
  • Website 
  • Media relations
  • Electronic media
  • Stakeholder outreach

In response to this effort, water use dropped immediately. The district’s retail customers reduced their water use by more than 30 percent by fall 2014. The number not only exceeded the district’s 25 percent water cutback requirements, but also the governor’s call for 20 percent water use reductions. Water reductions were as high as 53 percent in March 2014. 

Customers also responded to messaging and materials with action to reduce their own water use. More than one-in-ten customer accounts have received personal assistance to become more water efficient and customers have redeemed over $50,000 in water conservation rebates by installing water efficient appliances in their homes, businesses and landscapes.

California Highway Patrol

Campaign Aimed at California Drivers Saves Lives

Campaign Aimed at California Drivers Saves Lives

Client: California Highway PatrolprintBtn
Project: Seat Belt Awareness and Compliance




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Although California had one of the highest levels of seatbelt compliance in the nation, the issue of noncompliance was costing lives. We were engaged by the California Highway Patrol to develop and implement an outreach social marketing campaign to identify and change the behaviors of the last 14% of drivers not wearing their seatbelts 100 percent of the time.

This campaign was set up to be a national model targeting the overall driving population with emphasis on adults ages 35-54, specifically males and Hispanic men ages 16-54. Through comprehensive surveys and focus groups, we identified three main reasons our target audiences were not wearing seatbelts all the time: didn’t remember, going on a short trip and seatbelts are uncomfortable. We built the campaign brand around the theme: “Remember. Or be Remembered.” Campaign messages, delivered through broadcast and outdoor media, focused on three primary causes of noncompliance. Upon testing, we modified Hispanic creative to focus on family and not the individual. Tactics included:

  • Focus group, survey and observational research
  • Radio, television and outdoor media
  • Spanish language radio, television and outdoor media
  • Media promotions

The campaign goal was to gain a one percent increase in seat belt usage. Research demonstrated that we achieved from two percent to 10 percent increases depending on the audience segment (by age and ethnicity), with the greatest success in the young Hispanic male audience segment.

water recycling
Water Recycling

Education Program Changes Perception of Recycled Water

Education Program Changes 
Perception of Recycled Water

Client: RegionalSan (Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District)printBtn
Project: Water Recycling




Winner of two Gold Cappie awards from the Sacramento Public Relations Association as well as the 2006 Public Education and Community Outreach Award from the state chapter of the WateReuse Association, the leading advocacy group for water recycling.




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The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District and Sacramento County Water Agency planned to introduce water recycling for use in local parks, schools and other landscaped areas in Elk Grove. Public opposition had derailed similar projects around the state with a “toilet to tap” connotation. The county anticipated that local residents would be fearful of use in their neighborhoods and mount similar opposition.

The county retained Crocker & Crocker to help prevent anticipated public opposition to the concept of recycled water and identified a need for a community involvement program to:

  • Increase public awareness about safety and environmental and economic benefits.
  • Gain stakeholder acceptance of recycled water for irrigation purposes.

Crocker & Crocker conducted research to determine how best to communicate with stakeholders: focus groups and stakeholder interviews. Using feedback as the foundation, Crocker & Crocker developed a strategy integrating a community-based grassroots approach to gain acceptance.

The public outreach program included a community advisory committee, including key opponents, who provided input on every facet of outreach, while becoming experts on water recycling.

Stakeholders provided input and approval of the program’s It’s Only Natural slogan and logo. Other tactics included an interactive education booth (which was duplicated by others around the state), a speakers bureau, school curriculum/outreach and editorial briefings.

Mixing stakeholder education with involvement proved successful. Early community leader and residential participation resulted in virtually no public opposition to the project. Those initially opposed eventually advocated for water recycling. After several years of community outreach, the community embraced recycled water and the county turned on the tap.

The project received two awards from the Sacramento Public Relations Association and the WateReuse Association’s Recycled Water Public Education and Community Involvement Program. Crocker & Crocker continues to provide public outreach services to the district for their Water Recycling Program. 

Youth Video Contest

Video Competition Gets Kids Talking about Water Conservation

High School Video Competition gets Youth Talking About Water Conservation

Client: Regional Water AuthorityprintBtn
Project: Water Spots Video Contest

Water Spots



We exceeded the goal of 25 (project entries), finishing out the competition with 85.



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Regional Water Authority uses school outreach to educate youth and family members about water efficiency. After decades of reaching grade and middle schoolers, they wanted to branch out to high school students. They knew getting this demographic interested in water issues was a tough sell.

A short timeframe and the fact it was an inaugural year added to the challenges. The goal was to get a minimum of 25 entries for the first year and have an exceptional winning entry that could be used as a public service announcement to promote the Blue Thumb program.

Crocker & Crocker knew that a competition with strong materials would get students and their teachers engaged in the importance of water conservation. Crocker & Crocker developed the name WaterSpots and a brand look and feel that brought in key elements that would play to the students interests: get famous, have your video played at Rivercats stadium and have fun. Terminology commonly used by students like “legit” was used to talk in their language. 
Program elements included:

  • Branding
  • Graphic design
  • Advertising
  • Stakeholder outreach to schools and teachers
  • Engagement with elected officials and stakeholders
  • Media relations

We exceeded the goal of 25 finishing out the competition with 85. The involvement by multiple schools and students greatly extended the water efficiency reach, meeting RWA’s goals while also helping deliver the message to the region.

The finalist videos were played on the Rivercats stadium jumbotron and used in PSAs. The judging committee was comprised of media personalities, environmentalists, elected officials and water industry experts. They helped spread the word about the program at their respective meetings. The program has continued to grow.


Slow for the Cone Zone Campaign Makes a Difference

Slow for the Cone Zone

Client: CaltransprintBtn
Project: Slow for the Cone Zone

Slow for Cone Zone Welcome Challenge



We negotiated more than $22 million in bonus media and partnership … more than five times the overall media budget.



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Most people injured or killed in highway work zones are motorists hit by other motorists merging at the last minute or making sudden stops. Yet research showed drivers thought only highway workers get injured or killed. Research also showed that drivers who are made to understand the risk to themselves and their passengers are more likely to drive safely in work zones.

The campaign goal was to educate drivers that their unsafe driving behavior in work zones put them and their passengers at risk and to ultimately drive safer in these zones. While the target audience was all drivers, the primary focus was on teen and multicultural audiences. We planned and implemented a creative and engaging campaign that included the following tactics:

  • Pre and post campaign research
  • Statewide radio, TV and outdoor advertising
  • Targeted work zone identifiers in local publications throughout California
  • High school promotions with driver education programs
  • Public/private sector promotions
  • Events and local coordination with Caltrans District offices
  • Public and media relations
  • Teen microsite and video promotions
  • Roadside rest stop poster promotions

Research showed a measurable change in understanding and driving behavior. Awareness and recall rose from 39% to 64%, and Hispanic awareness rose to 75%. Behavioral change grew from 10% to 24%. We negotiated more than $22 million in bonus media and partnership… more than five times the overall media budget.

Stop the Clog

Strong Call to Action Prompts Behavior Change

Strong Call to Action Promotes Behavior Change for Sewer District

Client: Sacramento Area Sewer DistrictprintBtn
Project: Stop the Clog – Fats, Oils and Grease Program




The Crocker & Crocker team brought new, creative and effective ideas and partnerships to the table.”

Jan Holm
customer service manager
Sacramento Area Sewer District



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Fats, oils and grease clog sewer pipes, a major contributor of sanitary sewer overflows. SASD is required to comply with California’s discharge requirements, including an overflow reduction plan. Public outreach is a key measure for compliance. SASD engaged Crocker & Crocker to conduct fats, oils and grease public awareness for many years.

Crocker & Crocker developed a community-based marketing approach to educate audiences and encourage behavior change. The strategy focused on identifying partnerships and interventions with residential, multi-family and business stakeholders with a propensity for overflow problems. The plan called for creative message execution and relevant tips for a complicated subject through strategic partnerships, promotions and programming.

Crocker & Crocker developed a visually compelling, creative brand – Stop the Clog – to reach a traditionally difficult to reach audience. The most recognizable brand components are a plunger image and Can it. Scrape it. Trash it. tagline, the program’s call to action.

Program elements included:

  • “” brand
  • Website
  • School outreach
  • Restaurant outreach
  • Partnership program
  • Outreach material development
  • Media relations
  • Social media

Creative and visually enticing materials and partnership execution produced meaningful results. Major successes include:

  • an award-winning partnership with the Rental Housing Association of Sacramento Valley, culminating in an Environmental Recognition award, a cover story and feature articles in RHA’s magazine and a pilot program delivering materials directly to key stakeholders.
  • a media partnership with the City of Sacramento, expanding program message reach and delivering TV and radio coverage.
  • a successful school outreach program with the Sacramento Bee. The inaugural Go with the Flow program resulted in 331 poetry contest entries from hundreds of classrooms throughout the district’s service area.

The program received over 10 awards from CAPIO, CWEA and APEX.



1614 19th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811