Strategic Communications Conference Sees Record Attendance

(June 4, 2019) - NACWA’s specialty conference for clean water communicators, Strategic Communications:H2O (StratComm), convened in Cleveland, OH this week, with more than 120 participants from all over the country—the largest turnout ever in its three year history. 

For its theme, StratComm relied on the 50th Anniversary of the Cuyahoga River Fire, marking the golden anniversary of the media story—the river being so polluted that it shockingly caught fire—which eventually led to the passage of the Clean Water Act, the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the cleansing of grievously polluted water bodies throughout the US.  The anniversary is also the basis of a media campaign being conducted by NACWA Member Agency the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, which served as a gracious host for the conference.

Executives from top private communications firms, along with utility communicators and non-profit groups, presented high value content in the key areas that clean water utilities need in order to build or enhance strategic communications platforms:  branding, customer relations, crisis communications, media relations, internal communications and even workforce recruiting. 

Attendees were also treated to the “clean water rock stars,” The H2duo, whose presentation 30 Ideas in 30 Minutes outlined 30 of the latest trends and ideas that are on the cutting edge of water sector marketing and communications today.  As hosts of the wildly popular Water in Real Life Podcast, Stephanie Zavala and Arianne Shipley also recorded a podcast with NACWA Board Members and committee leaders in attendance. 

Attendees also networked and made connections that continue to build a unified clean water sector communicators group nationwide.  With an energy unlike any other meeting, StratComm continues to build water sector unity, collaboration and impact, as it sets the benchmarks for effective water utility communications and marketing.