In Fall 2016, experts from DC Water’s consulting arm, Blue Drop, conducted five workshops for New Jersey’s cities and utilities on how to successfully make the case for water infrastructure investment that were co-presented by Jersey Water Works the NJ Urban Mayors Association and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.
The DC Water representatives shared key communications strategies and techniques they used to build public support for Clean Rivers, including branding and visual identity, ways to celebrate success, effective public meetings and the use of social media. Leading the workshops was, chief marketing officer at DC Water, along with John Lisle, chief of external affairs, Ted Coyle, a multimedia specialist at the authority, and Emanuel Briggs, DC Water’s community outreach manager.
The workshops included:
- Three local kick-off meetings hosted by Mayor Christian Bollwage of Elizabeth, Mayor John Labrosse of Hackensack and Mayor Eric Jackson of Trenton.
- A full-day workshop, tailored specifically for officials and employees of cities and utilities with combined-sewer systems.
- A two-hour overview workshop, tailored to community groups and nonprofit organizations.
After a competitive application process, one-on-one consulting was provided to the City of Newark, the City of Jersey City and the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission.
- The Newark Water and Sewer Department developed new ways to engage with the public, including a new Neighborhood Outreach Program to address flooding, an employee highlight in its annual consumer confidence report, and a children’s activity book.
- The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission used its consultants in conjunction with Blue Drop to develop a new logo and brand “Clean Waterways Healthy Neighborhoods” as well as fact sheets on CSO solutions: downspout disconnection, sewer separation and green infrastructure.
- Jersey City’s Office of Innovation used DC Water’s advice to refine their Year of Water marketing plan and create a marketing package for Earth Day (link). They used graphics from DC Water to develop a flyer explaining combined sewer systems and ways to address them.
“Participation and investment begin with public awareness.”
– Hackensack Mayor John P. Labrosse Jr.
Below you’ll find example publications from DC Water and “raw files” of illustrations that you can insert into your local outreach materials.