Recently, there has been an uptick in media interest in drinking water contaminants, thanks in part to the release of the Tap Water Database, by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). According to its website, the EWG obtained water testing data for the period of 2010 to 2015 from all 50 States.
The information in the Database can be confusing because EWG made its assessments based on non-enforceable health guidelines published by health and environmental agencies, including the State of California; EWG’s own research; as well as Federal legal limits. When residents and journalists search the EWG Database, they may find that the local drinking water systems exceed contaminant limits listed by the EWG.
The good news is, your water system is likely already equipped with the information the media and your customers are seeking, thanks to the Safe Drinking Water Act requirement to provide an annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) to the public.
The CCR, frequently known as the annual Water Quality Report, summarizes the results of the previous year’s drinking water quality analyses, communicates information about a water supply system, and conveys health impacts of drinking water. Assuming your water system already made paper copies of the CCR available and/or posted a direct link to the entire report on the utility’s website as required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it’s a good idea to remind customers that the information is always available.
Check out the infographic created by AE2S Communications’ Taylor Corbett to view seven suggestions for proactively promoting your utility’s water quality, using your CCR.
AE2S, the engineering consulting and environmental services company I work for, recently unveiled its new advertising campaign. The marketing team came up with a series of great ads that really resonate with me. I’m hoping they resonate with everyone who sees them. The campaign is based on two simple words – It Matters. The phrase works perfectly with each of the services we provide to our clients, including AE2S Communications’ public information and engagement services.
“It Matters” gets to the heart of why AE2S employees do what we do, and even more importantly, why our clients do what they do. Whether it’s providing safe drinking water infrastructure, operating a utility or city efficiently, being good stewards of taxpayers’ money, or providing useful public information – IT MATTERS!
When I switched careers five years ago, I went from producing local TV newscasts to writing about infrastructure projects. It was somewhat of a culture shock! I went from being a decision maker who selected what the reporters covered each day, to pitching story ideas about complex engineering projects to my former colleagues.
Unfortunately, infrastructure isn’t particularly “sexy” to most media outlets, unless there’s a controversial aspect to the project. It often takes a little finesse to earn thoughtful news coverage about drinking water, flood control, sanitary sewer, or stormwater projects. I’ve found that sometimes the media just need a little reminder that infrastructure projects affect public safety, taxpayers’ wallets, and the local economy – all three of these concerns are extremely newsworthy no matter where you live.
AE2S Communications’ clients know the value of helping the public to understand the important projects that are happening in their communities. It’s challenging to attract positive attention to infrastructure projects, but worth it when a public information campaign helps people to understand why It Matters. It feels even better when proactive communication causes the public to become overwhelmingly supportive of a project!
If It Matters to you and your community, AE2S Communications is here to help.
Here’s a “shortcut” to boosting public awareness of your projects, as well as understanding and respect for the work you do in the community or region:
Online video keeps climbing in popularity. In fact, YouTube is the world’s second largest internet search engine!
A recent study by Diode Digital found that:
75 million people in the United States watch videos online daily
Embedded videos on websites can increase traffic up to 55%
Just mentioning the word “video” in the subject line of an email can increase open rates by 13%
Nearly 40% of all video is watched on mobile devices
So What Can We Do for You?
AE2S Communications produces videos that:
Explain an important and/or complex project
Showcase a technology
Teach viewers how to do or use something
Capture landmark events
We’ve put together a short video that shares samples of high-profile videos we’ve produced over the years. You can watch it here:
Here are some places where you can view some of our final product:
Go to the home page of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation at http://grandforks.org/ and click on the link to their “Step Inside” 2016 Annual Meeting video, in which we helped generate excitement surrounding the work of the GFREDC.
Two videos that illustrate how we can explain complex projects, as well as celebrate landmark events, can be found on top of the Video page of the FM Area Diversion Project’s official website, at http://www.fmdiversion.com/videos/.
A “flyover” video which details the proposed alignment of the Diversion Project is located at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGpOzmGtiw4. This video has also been played multiple times and is the go-to video for local TV news stations.
High Return on Investment
The base cost for projects that require on-site video recording and/or significant post-production (editing and rendering) with voice over is approximately $1,000 per finished minute of video, depending on travel costs or other necessary expenditures. For a large, complex or lengthy project that may need a lot of community education, spending $2,000 to $3,000 for an impactful two-minute video is a smart investment, especially when you consider the different mediums in which you can utilize video.
Video has always been a powerful medium. Combine this with easy online accessibility from computers and mobile devices, and increased Internet search rankings and engagement, and you have a winning strategy. If you’d like to learn more about how AE2S Communications’ video production capabilities can help you, just contact Andrea Boe or Daron Selvig.
There are so many things to love about digital information. My little environment-loving heart is so happy when I realize I can send a huge document to 10 reviewers without having to cut down a forest and blow through three ink toner cartridges. I love seeing and sharing photos and making educational videos. I have learned more from Youtube than most of my college text books.
The internet is cutting down our use of paper for newspapers, books and magazines according to a 2014 study by the World Bank. “Results show that the reduction in paper consumption caused by the Internet is large in size and can thus have important positive environmental implications,” the report states. Continue reading “Command P”
To anyone who is not a statistician, data can seem pretty boring until it’s put in a digestible and useful context.
Engineers love data points and so do we. But AE2S Communications, we realize when we see data, it’s more than just numbers. It’s real people, not just probabilities. Data is derived from real life. The numbers represent things that affect real people like our families, our communities and our clients.
Our goal as communicators is finding the human element behind important projects and technical information. Why does this project matter? Who can benefit from this technical information? Who needs to know this information?