Earlier this year, NC AWWA-WEA asked WaterPIO to author a piece for their Emergency Preparedness issue of NC Currents Magazine. Having seen our presentations at AWWA and NC AWWA-WEA conferences, they drafted us to write about "Handling Crisis Communication in The Instant Information Age."
In the piece, we highlight how to build trust before an emergency using proactive communication; how to craft - and test - a strong crisis COMMS plan; how to communicate clearly, early, and often during an emergency; how to successfully manage social media; and how to keep building trust in your utility after the crisis ends.
Click here for the .pdf of our article. You can also read the complete issue here. We're on Page 63. For a free initial consultation about our crisis COMMS services, email WaterPIO or contact us.
A GO-TO SOURCE ON WATER COMMUNICATIONS:
After criss-crossing the country in September to present at WEFTEC, National Rural Water's WaterPro Conference, The U.S. Water Alliance's One Water Summit, and the American Public Works Association's Public Works Expo, WaterPIO spoke about crisis, PFAS, and lead communications in six states this October and November.
In October, we presented at AWWA's Water Infrastructure Conference in St. Louis, the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators in Tampa, the Georgia Rural Water Association's Fall Conference, and at Live Oak Bank's Rural Water Leadership Summit. Then in November, we spoke to the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners Annual Meeting, NCAWWA-WEA's Annual Conference, the South Carolina Rural Water Association's Annual Conference, and the WEASC's Water Operators Conference.
PULLING TOGETHER THE PRESS & THE PUBLIC:
We're proud to have led the fight against the initial Consent Order announced during the dead of the Thanksgiving Weekend by Chemours, North Carolina's Department of Environmental Quality, and Cape Fear River Watch. We were the first organization to step out, on behalf of our clients and the water industry as a whole, to call the original CO what it was: a big win for Chemours and a big loss for water utilities and the 300,000 people living in the Cape Fear Region who are dealing with PFAS-contaminated drinking water.
We worked with the media, local utilities, and elected officials to educate them about the problems with the deal and gain their help in stopping it from being approved. The effort paid off. NC DEQ revised the Consent Order to make it stronger, adding provisions and language that corrected significant weaknesses, including one enormous legal loophole, right in line with our op-ed.
TALKING ALL THINGS WATER:
The conversation on crisis communications was so lively, it's a double-length pod. We talked about the benefits of boosting customer communications; creating crisis COMMS plans; and handling emerging contaminant discoveries, including PFAS contamination. Our conversation can be found on iTunes, Google Play for Android, and Spotify.
For more than a decade, WaterPIO has led water and sewer communications for several utilities, providing clear, concise information to the press and the public around the clock.
We live in The Instant Information Age. Your customers are receiving the news they want - no matter how important - without needing to ask for it.
There's new proof of how consistent communications work can go to help your entire operation. J.D. Power's Water Customer Survey shows how water utilities that regularly communicate with their ratepayers receive significantly higher satisfaction scores.
WaterPIO helps water utilities meet their customers' growing expectations for information. We can develop and implement communications strategies that improve connections with customers without taxing your time and resources.
66" Main Break, Potomac, MD, 12/23/08. Swift water rescues were broadcast around the world. WaterPIO staff produced the event that changed the conversation. The utility still refers to the event's success today.
WaterPIO offers Public Information Officers who work for or with water utilities more than four decades of industry experience. We've seen in all in the water & sewer worlds.
We've directed communications for utilities serving three million people, successfully working with mass media and social media for more than a decade.
We know how difficult your outreach work can be when you have limited time and resources, especially if you have several messages to communicate. That's where WaterPIO can affordably help your efforts.
WaterPIO makes budgets go farther and our assistance is always provided in your good name; we're simply here to help you succeed.
When the chemical compound GenX was found in the Cape Fear (NC) River, the source water for four utilities, WaterPIO helped multiple clients address their customers' concerns and set a path for the future.
WaterPIO is a communications pioneer in the water and wastewater industry. We've seen it all during our years in water and can defuse any crisis that arises, be it a major transmission main break or the discovery of emerging contaminants in drinking water.
If your water operation doesn't have a detailed crisis communications plan, we can create and implement a system-wide approach that makes sure you are prepared for any crisis that may come your way.
We have a proven track record of success; we've presented our positive results to more than two dozen national, state, regional, and local conferences in 18 months, including National Rural Water's WaterPro and AWWA's Water Infrastructure Conference.
WaterPIO can keep your audiences in the know on a consistent basis and enact an extensive array of short-term, long-term, project and crisis-centered services. We know your time and resources are limited, so all of WaterPIO's plans are crafted with your utility's needs, budgets and personnel in mind, combined together for ease of use.
Take a look at our complete rundown of services and contact us; we'll be happy to tell you how all of our plans possess proven track records of success.
WaterPIO-produced print materials, web, and online content have effectively informed our customers at the lowest possible cost for more than a decade.
We've produced Consumer Confidence Reports, Annual Reports, bill inserts, brochures, posters, signage, and other Web content that engage customers and key stakeholders for maximum impact. And our social media content moves the needle with key influencers.
Sometimes the simplest steps provide a water and wastewater utility with the greatest impact.
WaterPIO can help you tell your story through informative and entertaining customer outreach plans that impact groups of people ranging from five to thousands.
Our public meetings and presentations have educated hundreds of customers and water professionals about our clients' important role in the community.
WaterPIO, LLC P.O. Box 1256, Hampstead, NC 28443
info@WaterPIO.com 24/7 Access: (910) 622-8472