WRRF webcasts to tackle communicating with the public

The WateReuse Research Foundation (WRRF) is holding two webcasts in early May 2014 dealing with communication with the public about desalination and other contentious issues.

The first, Development of a Public Communication Toolkit for Desalination Projects on 8 May 2014
 will highlight a new WRRF project conceived to provide a versatile toolkit that water agencies can use as a roadmap to fashion their own public outreach efforts. The communication toolkit includes a variety of documents and materials that will assist in shaping unique and effective public outreach programs.

Included materials draw from the experience of water purveyors that have proposed desalination projects in California, Texas, Florida, Australia and Spain and provide useful real-life experience about what has worked and what has not. Both “hands-on” and “virtual” materials are provided.

The presenters will be Patricia Tennyson, executive vice-president, Katz & Associates, who has developed and managed communication, government and community relations, and public affairs and media strategies for water and wastewater agencies; Mark Millan, the principal of Data Instincts, Public Outreach consultants; and Joseph Charest, vice president at Katz & Associates specializing in developing multidisciplinary communication programs.

The second webcast will be Messaging and Social Media for Contentious Water Utility Issues on 14 May 2014. Under the guidance of public sector marketing expert, Nick Laurrell, this user-friendly webcast will focus on how to develop the communications platforms that profoundly influence audiences. Laurrell will discuss executing these platforms across an array of media including social media.

Laurrell is a marketing expert at S Groner Associates, where he spearheads creative development. He has successfully managed campaigns for Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association, Contra Costa County, and Orange County among others.