In 2015, Scottie client, the Value of Water Campaign, decided to organize an event that every water and wastewater agency and like-minded advocacy group could participate in as a way to raise awareness about the often invisible water infrastructure crisis. We called it Imagine a Day Without Water.
The message of the Value of Water Campaign is that the nation's water resources are essential, at risk, and worthy of investment. There are thousands of water and wastewater agencies across the country, and it is often a very fragmented sector. But there are common problems that are affecting countless communities' water systems, and that was what we wanted to address.
The Value of Water Campaign has 34 members, and in that first year we set a goal of having 50 groups participate. We were blown away by the response. More than 185 groups signed up to participate, bringing together everyone from aquariums to car washes - unlikely bedfellows, but two places that cannot go a day without water!
In 2016, we challenged ourselves to double the number of participating organizations to 360. Again we exceeded our own expectations—more than 500 organizations registered for the second Imagine a Day Without Water! Across the country, breweries, water utilities, cafes, and many more joined together to educate America about the value of water.
What we did
For the past two years, Scottie managed the Imagine a Day Without Water communications effort, from soup to nuts. From web and graphic design, to drafting collateral materials, Scottie generated ideas, created a plan, managed staff and consulting teams, and executed the plan for the Value of Water Campaign.
Elected officials across the country participated in Imagine a Day Without Water events in 2015 and 2016, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2015 and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner in 2016 (pictured above).
- Scottie also drafted website content and materials for participants, including a message deck, talking points, ideas on how to participate, a template op-ed, and a template press release for use by any participant. Providing easy to use "plug-and-play" material was key to our success.
- Scottie oversaw the creation of a 30-second and a 2-minute video. The video has been shared and viewed thousands of times on social media.
- We created a call-to-action petition, demanding elected officials prioritize investment in water infrastructure. The petition generated over 1,500 signatures.
- We also wrote op-eds that ran in leading outlets, including for Rendell and former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that was published in The Hill.
- We worked with radio booking specialists Lyons PR to create a radio media tour that reached more than 6 million viewers and listeners through 17 interviews with local news programs.
- We also coordinated a "Thunderclap," which included simultaneous participation from more than 400 social media accounts. In 2016, our hashtag, #ValueWater, received more than 12 million social media impressions.