Communicating the Drought

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With California in the midst of a record setting drought, Tripepi Smith & Associates (TSA) has been engaged by two Southern California water agencies to provide communications support for conservation efforts. Valley Water Company and the Inland Empire Utility Agency (IEUA) have both engaged the talent at TSA to inform the public.

Earlier this year, Governor Brown issued an executive order calling for a 25% reduction in statewide potable water use.  In response to this, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) issued mandatory reduction requirements to local water agencies based on their residential per-capita per-day water use. Agencies were required to comply with these reductions every month beginning June 2015.

Logo-Print-3aValley Water Company, a mutual water company supplying 3,580 connections in the City of La Cañada Flintridge, was placed in the highest reduction requirement tier of 36%. As a semi-rural community with large lots and a lot of grass, Valley Water faced a significant challenge meet the new State mandate. TSA provided communications support for Valley Water and implemented a campaign that included press releases, op-ed pieces, frequently asked questions and a series of bill stuffers. Showcasing the TSA graphic design prowess, the bill stuffer campaign featured visually enticing and engaging conservation pieces (click here for samples). Through the efforts of the customers it serves, Valley Water reported promising conservation numbers that saw significant drops in pers resident water usage.

“Tripepi Smith is just so easy to work with. They offer creative ideas, show up understanding the policy issues, and I don’t have to hold their hand. They just execute,” said Bob Fan, general manager for the Valley Water Company. “Tripepi Smith has been an invaluable partner to Valley Water in this drought.”

IEUA_Logo_with_waveIn the Inland Empire, IEUA is a regional wastewater treatment agency and water wholesaler to nine water retail agencies. IEUA sought out Tripepi Smith to develop a drought messaging campaign that would resonate across the member agencies, all of which received different reduction requirements from the SWRCB. After a series of brainstorming sessions, Tripepi Smith and IEUA staff developed the “Kick the Habit” campaign concept. TSA went to work creating newspaper ads, vehicle magnets, bus advertisements, mirror clings for malls and much more, all branded with Kick the Habit messaging. Traditional media efforts were supplemented with a Google Ad campaign that placed the message of conservation in front of over two million people and a Kick the Habit movie theater trailer debuted in Inland Empire theaters on Star Wars opening weekend. To view collateral associated with the Kick the Habit Campaign, click here.

kickthehabitsample“We turned to Tripepi Smith to help us with our drought campaign effort. From conceptualization to placement and monitoring, Tripepi Smith has been a great communication partner for the Inland Empire Utilities Agency,” said Andrea Carruthers, Senior External Affairs Specialist. “IEUA is committed to increasing conservation efforts to ensure a stable water supply for future generations.”

Tripepi Smith’s work with Valley Water Company and the Inland Empire Utility Agency reflects a growing practice serving California’s special districts. Other water clients include: the California Utility Executive Management Association, Santa Margarita Water District, Mesa Water, Rowland Water District and El Toro Water District.

“Both Valley Water and IEUA have offered Tripepi Smith the opportunity to flex our creative muscles and innovate public agency outreach efforts,” said TSA Senior Business Analyst Karalee Watson. “The team enjoys all of its client work, but to actually make a difference and affect conservation outcomes is very rewarding. Tripepi Smith sincerely appreciates the trust and confidence placed in us by our clients.”

Tripepi Smith is a marketing, technology and public affairs firm located in Orange County, CA. Its clients include for-profit, non-profit and public agencies throughout the state of California. Its unique mix of marketing and technology prowess provide a competitive advantage for organizations seeking to leverage the Internet to achieve their communication goals. The firm also provides full content creation services, including: ghost writing, collateral development, photography, video production, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing campaigns and website design and execution. Tripepi Smith clients include: Rowland Water, Valley Water Company, Bellflower-Somerset Mutual Water Company, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, California Utility Executive Management Association, Climatec Energy Services, California Contract Cities Association, California City Management Foundation,Big Independent Cities Excess Pool, Independent Cities Finance Authority, City of Duarte, City of La Cañada Flintridge,City of Livermore, City of Placentia and City of Norwalk.

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