Think you have trouble starting word of mouth for your stuff? What if you had the job of getting people excited about fire hydrant maintenance? After all, clearing away snow and ice is not that exciting or fun. But even boring topics like these can get a jumpstart on word of mouth by giving people a little bit of ownership.

To do this, Boston is asking their residents to Adopt-a-Hydrant. With a simple sign up and pledge to look after it, volunteers can name the hydrant in their neighborhood. It’s a simple enough concept that doesn’t cost the city a lot and takes a big burden off of the fire department. What’s more, it gets people talking about an important issue and raises awareness for what civic workers do every day.

The Boston Fire Department launches an Adopt-a-Hydrant program to start word of mouth.

The Boston Fire Department launches an Adopt-a-Hydrant program to start word of mouth.

Photo from Springwise

This isn’t the first time cities have used community ownership to get people involved (think of Adopt-a-Highway programs or Neighborhood Watch Groups). If people are willing to devote their time to civic duty, think of how excited your fans will be to get involved with your stuff too.

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