Water utilities find that a caring approach leads to happy customers
Everybody wants happy customers, and water utilities are no exception. Water is a fundamental part of life and customers tend to have strong opinions about it. From rates and billing systems to quality and taste, water is a commodity that people care about – and many of them are not shy about sharing their opinions.
That’s why communication with customers is so important. They need to understand, for example, the reasons for rate changes, voluntary conservation measures and upcoming infrastructure projects, especially those that might cause disruptions to service.
While basic communication is important, it is not enough. Water utilities also must demonstrate they care for and value their customers. A campaign incorporating advertising, public relations and outreach can make a huge difference in the level of trust between a water utility and its customers. In this blog post, I’ll share three fresh approaches we have used at MNM to effectively engage water customers.
One leading owner’s rep is pushing that idea with its “OneModel” BIM-sharing approach.
VEBA Unveils Innovative Mission Valley Resource Center to Improve Physical and Mental Health for Nearly 150,000 Members
New VEBA Resource Center empowers members with a personalized approach to well-being, including individual and group counseling, healthy cooking classes, yoga and resources to improve access to care.
MNM Advertising & Public Relations Appoints Tanya Mannes Castaneda as Vice President, Public Relations
Castaneda was named 2018 CAPIO Communicator of the Year, served as Public Information Officer at the Port of San Diego and holds elite Accreditation in PR credential.
In 2015, the City of Flint, Michigan became a symbol for the national crisis of lead in our drinking water. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha found children in Flint were being severely damaged by their exposure to lead. Next week, Dr. Hanna-Attisha will be in San Diego, and she has bold advice for local officials on responding to the lead issue.
“Lead is unfortunately in school water throughout the nation," Dr. Hanna-Attisha said. “Schools are meant to be places were children learn and develop, not places where you can potentially be exposed to a neurotoxin which impedes learning and development.”
San Diego Unified began targeted testing for lead in school drinking water in 2017, working with its water provider, the City of San Diego, to assess the extent of the problem. Tests found elevated levels of lead in about 20 percent of schools tested. Outlets with elevated levels of lead were turned off, so students could not drink from them until they were repaired or replaced. The district also made plans to expand testing to include every outlet at every school.
Many critical questions remain
SAN DIEGO – The City of San Diego should carefully weigh the costs and benefits of government-controlled energy before flipping the switch and moving residents and businesses into such a program.
Our coalition has said we would support government-controlled energy in San Diego, also known as Community Choice Aggregation or CCA, if it were cheaper, greener and did not shift costs by forcing ratepayers in neighboring communities to subsidize the city’s new program.