Tag(line) – You’re It!

The positive impact of portable sanitation is explained in a few words.
Tag(line) – You’re It!
Karleen Kos is executive director of the Portable Sanitation Association International. She may be reached at karleenk@psai.org or 952/854-8300.

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It’s been two years since I was invited to join the PSAI. In those first months I talked to hundreds of industry members about portable sanitation. Repeatedly I heard things like:

“Portable sanitation gets no respect.”

“People don’t really understand what we provide.”

“It’s just so hard to explain – and I’m not sure most folks want to know anyway.”

“I just wish there was an easy way to describe what we do,” industry members would say earnestly. “We need to work on our image.”

At the PSAI, we percolated a lot of ideas. Then last summer, while working on a “big finish” for a new video, it hit us. Portable sanitation provides:


As we thought more about these words and ideas, we realized how powerful and memorable they are in telling the story very succinctly.
Better work sites. In developed countries, portable sanitation plays one of its biggest roles by providing workers with a private, dignified and environmentally friendly place to answer nature’s call, sparing employers the losses in productivity that accompany the next best alternative.

Better weekends. Portable sanitation makes long outdoor events possible, ensuring that the fun doesn’t have to stop when someone’s bladder gives out.

Better world. Portable sanitation has a positive global impact by improving the quality of life for people lacking proper sanitation, staving off diseases, and saving water.

These are all things those in the industry already know but have struggled to explain. Who knew that three short phrases and a little alliteration would capture it so well?

In September 2015, the PSAI board of directors adopted the “Better work sites, better weekends, better world” language as the official tagline of the PSAI.

Why does a tagline matter? Well, let’s look at some other taglines to illustrate that answer. Can you fill in these blanks? I bet you can.

“Like a good neighbor _________ is there.”

“_________: Just Do It”

“There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else there’s _________”

A powerful tagline builds a brand by giving people something to remember that captures its essence. Since the benefits of portable sanitation are not well known outside our industry, we have a long way to go to build the kind of positive associations that the brands above already have. Luckily our new tagline captures the essence of our industry’s good work. It tells the story, and it will help you tell the story.

The whole process of positioning our industry and shaping our image will take time – and a methodical effort to educate customers and stakeholders. PSAI cannot do it alone. Won’t you work with us? Get involved as a member. Or just get involved in things like World Portable Sanitation Day. Help tell the story. Tag(line) – you’re it!


Are there products or tools PSAI could offer bearing this new tagline that would help your business or public relations efforts? Share your opinions at karleenk@psai.org.


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