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90: Water Nerds Guide to Communicating about Covid19
Episode 9019th March 2020 • Water In Real Life • The H2duO
00:00:00 00:56:06

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Samantha Villegas is a senior consultant with Raftelis, with more than 25 years of experience conducting public outreach for public works, in the areas of water, energy, and recycling. Samantha has assisted municipalities, water, and wastewater utilities with outreach, branding, reputation and crisis management, as well as the execution of communications strategies to ensure positive positioning for rate increases, acquisitions, capital projects, and change management. Sam served in a lead communications role for both a public water utility and a large, investor-owned utility. She has helped develop a number of guidance docs fir the sector, including ones on lead communication, Legionella communication, and the CCR. Sam has previously presented at Catalyst, ACE, Virginia AWWA’s JAM conference, and SWANA’s Waste Expo. Sam has been actively involved in the American Water Works Association (AWWA), where she served on the Public Affairs Council, and in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), where she was the National Capital Chapter president and now serves on PRSA’s National Board of Directors. Sam holds a master’s degree in environmental policy and is accredited by PRSA.

Top Takeaways

  • Build trust by ensuring you keep these four factors in mind in your messaging: frequency, transparency, consistency, and honesty.
  • Reframe the bottled water message. Don't use the same language about why tap is better than bottled. Talk about how using tap keeps bottled water available for true water emergencies.
  • Give your digital audience the call to action to share information with community members that may not have access to digital information.
  • Check out the PRSA infodemic infographic. Rogue Water will also have an infographic available about the CAP method from the Vincent Covello Risk Communication Center.

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