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Step 1: Identify Campaign Objectives and Target Audience(s)

Step 1

What do you want to achieve?

Setting specific campaign objectives will help you identify the information you need to start your campaign, the best actions to take, and methods to evaluate progress and the impact of your campaign.  Decide upon one or more specific objectives that you would like to achieve with your campaign and that support the overall goals and mandate of your organization.  Some examples follow:

Sample Idling Reduction Campaign Objectives

  • To reduce the idling behaviours of motorists in your community.
  • To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and associated environmental impacts.
  • To improve air quality and related health problems.
  • To reduce fuel consumption.
  • To develop knowledge and expertise in encouraging a whole community to change their behaviour.
  • To support a larger suite of environmental / energy saving activities.

Where do you want to target your campaign?

Select specific areas to target in your campaign. “Idling hotspots” are locations where idling is prevalent – e.g. community centres, arenas, libraries, hospitals, schools, ferry crossings, and commuter pick up zones.  Focusing on specific target locations will help increase the effectiveness of your campaign. 

Consider the following factors when selecting the target location(s) for your campaign:

  • Is this a location where many drivers idle their engines?
  • Does the location have a specific area where drivers typically idle their vehicles (e.g. passenger drop-off area)?
  • Is there a safe area where volunteers/staff can discretely and safely identify idling vehicles and record data?
  • Are there places where idling reduction signs could be posted?
  • Will the characteristics of the site enable the volunteers/staff to approach drivers to engage them in conversation about idling and ask for a commitment to reduce idling?

Who do you want to engage? 

In setting your campaign objectives, you may have identified a particular group that your organization has a keen interest in working with – for example, parents at local schools. 

Identify your specific target audiences early in your campaign as communication materials and approaches you use will need to be tailored to each specific group.  Some target audiences you may want to consider in your campaign are:

Sample Target Audiences for Idling Reduction Campaigns [PDF 26 KB]  [DOC 30 KB]

Sample Target Audiences for Idling Reduction Campaigns
Location Target Groups Location Target Groups
  • Schools


  • Parents
  • Students
  • School bus drivers
  • Other _______
  • Businesses/ Workplaces
  • Employees
  • Service/Fleet Vehicles
  • Customers
  • Other _______
  • Government Offices
  • Employees
  • Service/Fleet Vehicles
  • Other _______
  • Community Facilities (e.g. arena, large events)
  • General public
  • Delivery vehicles
  • Parents
  • Other _______
  • Transportation Hubs (transit stations, ferries, border crossings)
  • Transit vehicles
  • Passenger vehicles
  • Tour buses
  • Other _______
  • Other _______
  • Taxis
  • Drivers of transport trucks
  • Other _______

The following examples of idling reduction projects across Canada illustrate different choices made in the selection of target audiences or locations, and can assist in generating ideas as you work through Step 1 (Identify Campaign Objectives and Target Audiences) of your campaign.

Using SeeClickFix to Identify Idling Hotspots in Prince George, B.C.
Target:  Identifying “Idling Hotspots”
The Prince George Air Improvement Roundtable (PG AIR) used a unique approach to gather baseline data about idling “hotspots” in their community by engaging the public in Idle-Free reporting and monitoring. Using the online mapping tool SeeClickFix,. , anyone with a laptop, home computer or smart phone is able to pinpoint and report idling hotspots across Prince George in real time and add them to the Idling Hotspot Map. The map, powered by Google Maps, allows residents to zoom in and pinpoint the exact location of the idling activity. A user can click on the area on the map where the idling occurred and a pop-up window appears prompting more details on the idling occurrence. Users are encouraged to provide as much detail as possible, including time of day, exact location, type of vehicle, and duration of idling. This information helps PG AIR identify the trends related to idling behaviour in a specific area. If an area has already been identified by another community member, the mapping tool allows the user to cast a “vote” as to whether action is needed.  Some areas have been identified as an idling hotspot by more than 100 people. Using the data from the community mapping exercise, and from other idling monitoring initiatives, an overall database of idling activities was created for Prince George. This database provided the basis for the development of a new idle-control corporate policy for City transit buses.
To learn more about identifying idling hotspots in Prince George, visit the Prince George Air Improvement Roundtable

Greening the Border Initiative, British Columbia
Target Location: Border Crossing
Target Audience: Passenger Vehicles (waiting to cross the border)
At the Peace Arch border crossing between Surrey, British Columbia, and Blaine, Washington, the long lines of drivers who idle their way to U.S. Customs have become a thing of the past. As part of the Greening the Border initiative, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the B.C. Ministry of Environment have installed a new traffic signal north of the U.S. Customs booth to reduce vehicle idling at the border, a location identified as a “hotspot” for unnecessary idling. The target audience for this idling reduction initiative was idling motorists waiting to cross the border, with a specific focus on the behaviour of “traffic creep” which was encouraging motorists to idle their cars while waiting to cross the border.
To learn more, visit the Greening the Border Initiative

Step 1 Planning Worksheet and Resources

The following background information from the Idle-Free Zone website may help you in thinking about your objectives and target audience:

Step 1 Objectives Planning Worksheet

Step 1 Objectives Planning Worksheet [PDF 15 KB]  [DOC 29 KB]

Step 1 Objectives Planning Worksheet
Specific Campaign Objectives Target Audience(s) Location(s)
Organization’s Goals and/or Mandate
  1. ____________________________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________________________

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