West Hollywood is known for its irreverent public service messaging. And has gotten awards for those irreverent messages.
This is the city which created a three-part video series parodying the Saturday Night Live skit “The Californians” just to let people know La Cienega would be completely closed for construction. WeHo is the city that hired singer/actor Todrick Hall to shoot an Alice in Wonderland type parody reminding people to look both ways rather than at their phone when crossing the street.
And West Hollywood is the city that recently recruited Yoda and various Marvel superheroes to tell people to “wear a f***ing mask.”
Lisa Marie Belsanti, the city’s communication director, appeared on the Take Two news program on KPCC radio (89.3 FM) on Monday to talk about the city’s irreverent way of getting the message out.
Belsanti explained that there is a “WeHo Way” of doing things that is vastly different from the way other cities in the region handle things.
“We gear all of our messaging toward the people that we know very well who live, work and play in WeHo just like we do,” said Belsanti, who joined the city’s communication team in 2013 after earlier being the deputy to Councilmember Abbe Land.
She explained the city is good at reaching the elusive 18-to-29-year old. They do this by often incorporating pop culture, gay culture, comic book culture and more into the message and frequently presenting the message as a parody.
“Laughter and levity and a little bit of bluntness, I think, is the way to get through to some of these folks,” said Belsanti.
Take Two host A Martinez agreed, saying, “Laughter always works with me. I remember it more than any other kind of messaging.”
Belsanti appeared in the final segment of Monday’s show. To listen to the full interview, CLICK HERE to go to the KPCC page devoted to Monday’s episode. The segment on West Hollywood’s messaging starts at the 42:30 mark.