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Each year, the Nevada Radon Education Program tries new radon outreach ideas for National Radon Action Month. Its most successful idea this year was the creation and use of a 40-foot street banner in two different locations during January. The banner was hung over a major highway thoroughfare in Gardnerville (Douglas County) during the first two weeks of January and on the main street in Nevada’s capital – Carson City – during the last week of January.
The street banner, which cost the Program an initial expense of $750, will surely pay off as the Program hopes to use the banner for years to come. The 3-foot by 40-foot vinyl banner was created with specifications determined by the two cities' governing entities.
The street banner proved to be a success. From January through March 2011, more than 400 radon test kits were requested in Douglas County and more than 50 test kits were requested in Carson City as a direct result of the street banner and the publicity that it garnered. The Program was able to link the increase in test kits to the street banners through a brief questionnaire and receipt that people coming to the Cooperative Extension offices for a radon test kit were asked to fill out. One of the questions on the receipt asked, "How did you hear about radon?" During the time that the banner was hung in both cities, the overriding answer was "street banner." "Street banner" was submitted as an answer even through March, long after the banners had been taken down.
An added bonus in terms of promotion and marketing for the street banners was a newspaper article published in Douglas County's major newspaper, The Record-Courier. The newspaper published an article on Jan. 7, titled "Welcome to Gardnerville, Test for Radon," which also included a photo of the street banner.