A lack of shared awareness and goals amongst policy makers, management, IPM practitioners and the public regarding alternatives to pesticides is commonly cited as a challenge to pesticide reduction. Successful outreach programs are based on a solid understanding of the needs of the targeted audience and the use of appropriate techniques to disseminate the needed information.
IPM outreach involves connecting with practitioners of pest management, as well as their customers. These can include policy makers, budget managers, and building occupants, all having the potential to influence the direction of product and service markets through demand. Ultimately IPM outreach addresses the interests of environmentally concerned citizens who support reducing the use of pesticides.
The County of Santa Clara IPM program implements outreach by identifying the diverse array of stakeholders including, policy makers, regulators, County management, IPM practitioners, and the public. This stakeholder group also includes non-traditional audiences such as professionals in the fields of air, land and water quality-control, public health and safety, occupational safety, environmental compliance, climate change, sustainability, health and environmental advocates, community groups, the elderly and children.
The program has explored partnerships to leverage financial resources and create staffing efficiencies through data and information sharing. Partnerships also assist with development of streamlined regionally consistent messages that are easily recognized, and less likely to include conflicting practices.