WaterPIO keeps your customers proactively informed on a consistent basis through an extensive array of communications services. All of WaterPIO's plans are crafted with your utility's needs in mind. We know your time and resources are limited, so we present a variety of game plans that all have proven track records of success.
CUSTOMER & STAKEHOLDER COMMUNICATIONS (Including Social Media)
Comprehensive Planning and Support
WaterPIO will provide your utility with a detailed, year-long communications plan designed to improve your relationship with your customers, key stakeholders, and the media. The plan will be tailored to your utility’s staffing levels and budgets to ensure it can meet your goals. We can also craft shorter-term frameworks to address immediate needs.
Community and Social Media Outreach
WaterPIO will write and implement a detailed Community Outreach plan that covers both water-related, customer-education issues ranging from your treatment process, source water protection, and event participation to sewer-related, community compliance-related efforts including “Cease the Grease” and anti-personal wipe campaigns.
Utilities need to use social media if they want to influence the behavior of younger customers. WaterPIO delivers persuasive content, produced by ourselves and others on multiple platforms. We will also cultivate relationships with social media influencers to gain their assistance in raising awareness about your work.
WaterPIO has extensive experience creating and executing customer education efforts that will clearly communicate all stages of major construction projects. We recently completed two projects for Cape Fear Public Utility Authority that involved the construction of nearly ten miles of sewer lines, some of it involving deep sewer, in front of the homes of hundreds of residents. Every single home was impacted, so WaterPIO handled nearly a dozen public meetings and worked on a daily basis with the project's contractor to ensure the public's concerns were quickly and completely addressed. As a result, not a single construction-related complaint was covered by the media during the three years of project work.
While at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, WaterPIO staff handled the above-ground construction phase of its Bi-County Water Tunnel, a massive, 98-inch transmission main installed in bedrock 250 feet below ground along the Washington, D.C. Beltway. Prior to construction, we briefed the Washington Post on the entire project and then led multiple public meetings on the 5.3-mile-long project, which included dynamite blasting near several historic homes. We personally met each impacted homeowner through this sensitive phase.
Media relations work is a particular WaterPIO specialty. Over the years, we’ve earned our water utilities millions of dollars in positive news coverage and can establish or improve any operation’s standing with the press. We also train employees on how to handle difficult complaints or questions from reporters.
WaterPIO will develop and implement a media relations plan that will either establish or improve your working relationship with the media. WaterPIO will provide message development assistance and provide regular content about your work to the press to strengthen relationships. Basic media training is also provided.
Short-term Support and Counsel
WaterPIO will gladly tailor our services to fit your short-term needs. Require short-term assistance on a particular project but not start-to-finish planning and implementation? WaterPIO is here to help. Need short-term advice and counsel on how to deal with a situation but can’t afford a larger commitment? WaterPIO is here to help.
WaterPIO is a pioneer in the field of crisis communications for the water and wastewater industry. We developed the first emergency notification system to target customers about everything from water main breaks and boil water advisories to multimillion-gallon sewer spills that threatened local waterways. We can help you quickly and seamlessly integrate your emergency incidents into locally available alert systems.
We've also handled source water threats including emerging contaminants like 1,4-dioxane and GenX, coal ash contamination, algal blooms and pharmaceuticals in drinking water. We can craft a comprehensive water and sewer crisis communications plan that can implemented using existing staff and/or direct support from WaterPIO.
WaterPIO is Always On Call. When an incident occurs, WaterPIO can provide direct support for your organization’s crisis communications response. We will assist with both the creation AND implementation of message development and public outreach strategies that will help you respond quickly and clearly to our customers and key stakeholders when the pressure is on.
PRINT AND WEB CONTENT
WaterPIO will write and produce a wide range of communications materials designed to get your messages out to your customers. We offer a variety of customer brochures, bill inserts, and other print and online materials that cover a broad spectrum of water and sewer-related topics of interest. WaterPIO can also lead the production of Annual Reports and Water Quality/Consumer Confidence Reports.
WaterPIO staff has led successful redesigns of multiple water and wastewater utility websites. We can provide an overall review of your design and content that will lay the groundwork for a relaunch or focus on targeted improvements that will benefit both you and your ratepayers within your existing framework.