NACWA Convenes Clean Water Communicators in First-Ever Strategic Communications: H2O Virtual Event

(June 10, 2020) – NACWA hosted the first-ever Strategic Communications: H2O Virtual Event on Monday, June 1st and Tuesday, June 2nd. Nearly 200 individuals participated online for each event. 

While the annual StratComm conference was unable to be held in person this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the virtual format allowed NACWA’s community of clean water communications professionals to gather and share best practices and lessons learned throughout the course of the pandemic.

As a result of the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, this virtual event was conceived as an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning. NACWA members across the country have devised strategies and tactics in response to the pandemic to communicate with their ratepayers, regulators and staff on an individual basis, with no readily available playbook to guide them.

The virtual StratComm event aimed to change that, by providing communications leaders the chance to share what they have done so far, including where they found success and where lessons were learned.

Over the course of two days, speakers presented on Crisis Communications, including how utilities communicated with the public in the first days of the pandemic; Social Media Outreach, highlighting how utilities shared critical information with their ratepayers throughout the course of the pandemic; Internal Communications, with an emphasis on how to provide much-needed support to front line workers; and wrapped up with a session on Post-Coronavirus Communications, to give attendees an idea of how they can begin communicating after the worst of the pandemic is over.

Featured speakers included:

  • Vince Morris, DC Water
  • Tricia Garrison, NEW Water in Green Bay, WI
  • Karen Hansen, Beveridge & Diamond
  • Franchesca Thompson, DC Water
  • John Gonzalez, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
  • Houston Spencer, Xylem, Inc.
  • Monica Billger, AlexRenew
  • Michelle Zdrodowski, Great Lakes Water Authority
  • Stephanie Dillon, Great Lakes Water Authority
  • Curtis Burris-White, Great Lakes Water Authority
  • Maria Rosales, LA County Sanitation District
  • Rebecca Zito, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority
  • Pam Perez, LA Sanitation
  • Victoria Johnson, Jacobs

NACWA thanks all of the speakers for making the event such a success, and also thanks its 2020 All Conference Sponsors for supporting this virtual offering. For questions regarding the webinar, or to request a copy of the slides or a recording of the presentation, please contact Nathan Gardner-Andrews