Attendees to NACWA’s Utility Leadership Conference (ULC) and Strategic Communications: H2O (StratComm) workshop came from every region of the country, with differing utility needs and challenges, dealing with different circumstances, and serving different populations, but all shared the same unifying objective by participating in the events: Peer-to-peer collaboration for problem solving.
The agenda for last week’s ULC in St. Louis, MO, bore out its Peer-to-Peer (P2P) theme, beginning with committees that covered the sheer groundwork needed to build the clean water sector, and uplift each member agency’s operations. Plenary sessions inspired innovative collaboration, and panels covered the specifics of P2P connecting; whether it be for learning about the basics of benchmarking performance, or for borrowing equipment. Some sessions fostered P2P collaboration with other sectors as well—e.g., the Technology Sector—where innovative partnerships could lead to improved operations and sustainability, better customer service and lower costs.
Unique event features, like the One-2-One Networking Event, and the Women’s Water Network Dinner strengthened unity and relationships among members and affiliates nationwide. And who could forget the baseball game event at Busch Stadium?
Peer-to-peer communication marked the success of NACWA’s first ever StratComm: H2O workshop. With paradigm-shifting ideas and concepts introduced in major utility communication area needs—such as Branding, Crisis Communications, Digital and Social Media strategy, and more—foundations were laid and energy generated for future StratComms (now an annual event) and for on-going collaboration among the nationwide network of clean water communicators. Several attendees and speakers called the event “game-changing” in terms of building the clean water sector’s collective communications platform, and many more came away with a commitment to carry the momentum forward—acting locally, staying connected nationally—and help build a strong, unified clean water voice.
NACWA would like to thank all attendees of ULC and StratComm, your continued growth and unity is the reason the Association exists.