Published: June 18, 2015

    1st Place Pelican Water Scholarship Winner: Kelly Shuman

    We received some remarkable essays and slogan suggestions for the 2015 Pelican Water College Scholarship Contest, but Kelly Shuman’s evocative H20: Help 2 Orchestrate Conservation submission encapsulated Pelican’s drive to encourage conservation efforts among young people.

    Kelly has been accepted into the University of Maryland’s intensive Master’s and accreditation program (MCERY) for teaching. With first place, she has won a $1,500 scholarship to put towards her new academic goal.

    H2O – Help 2 Orchestrate Conservation by Kelly Shuman

    Water conservation is an important issue and will only become more dire as time continues if there are not substantial changes made. Young people today will have to be the generation to help make this change to conserve our waters for generations to come. In my social psychology course this past semester we learned about the routes to persuasion and how different techniques can help make lasting impressions on an audience. The first thing social psychologists know is that strong attitudes help us predict someone’s behavior, so Pelican Water needs to create a campaign that will leave young people with a strong attitude change to take part in helping with water conservation. In order to make an impact on an audience an advertisement or campaign needs to make the issue seem relevant to one’s life, use strong arguments that come from a reliable source, and motivate the audience to act.

    In order to make water conservation seem relevant to young people Pelican Water should host activities in schools, camps, youth organizations, and universities to demonstrate what will be like if no or few water conservation acts are taken. This could include schools turning off specific water fountains for certain times of the day. This would demonstrate how people from around the world do not have the ease of obtaining clean water that we do. Camps and youth organizations could express to children that without a clean and plentiful supply of water our entertainment and health would decrease. This could be done by nature, sailing, and sports camps all discussing the impact water has on the specific activities carried out at the camps or organizations. Camps can then work on a project to help do their part in conserving our water such as planting trees or collecting compost with campers extra food (Conservation International). Finally universities could run mandatory orientation activities for first year students to show their students what initiatives their school and student body takes to promote water conservation and discuss possible new initiatives. Universities can promote their campus farms for students and start implementing composting initiatives in the dining halls so students can feel that they are starting to play a role in conservation efforts. These small steps in helping conservation efforts will then become second nature for young people and hopefully they will begin implementing these positive changes into their daily lives.

    The second step to creating a campaign that will lead to a lasting attitude change on young people is to relay strong arguments from a reliable source. To accomplish this Pelican Water should create commercials, posters, and reusable water bottles that include the Pelican Water logo, so people know the information is from a reliable source. These materials should also include easily understood statistics, such as “Nearly 60% of U.S. lakes are too polluted for fishing and swimming” (Conservation International) and “to help save water you can waste less food” (Conservation International). These facts are easy to understand for young people of a wide range of ages and propose simple suggestions as to why water conservation is important and how the public can take a stance.

    The final and possibly the most important step of the campaign will be to motivate young people to take action to help water conservation efforts. This can be done through the previous two steps, but also implementing rewards. For example, Pelican Water can hold contests to see which schools around the country can make the greatest decrease in their amount of food waste in a school year, use less water throughout the year, or raise the most money for water conservation organizations. The winning schools could earn the chance to visit aquariums, state parks, or water treatment facilities where they can learn more about how their conservation efforts helped protect our Earth’s water. Educating children at a young age of how their actions impact the Earth will provide them with the tools they need to make changes in their lifestyles and turn conservation efforts into a daily reality for the young generations.

    Once the new campaign has been created it needs an exciting slogan that will also leave a lasting impact on young people. I am suggesting that the new marketing slogan reads, “H2O – Help 2 Orchestrate Conservation”. Using a play on word for water’s chemical expression will make the slogan memorable to the campaign’s audience. Also this slogan is straight forward providing the audience with the goal of getting involved in water conservation efforts. If these plans are put into action and the slogan is utilized in Pelican Water’s new campaign young people will feel compelled to take greater action in helping in water conservation efforts.


    Conservation International. (n.d.). [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.conservation.org/what/pages/fresh-water.aspx?gclid=CJiPwKip9sQCFdcYgQodIAgAqQ