Facing an era of upgrades to Evansville’s massive and failing water and sewer infrastructure, the Evansville Water & Sewer Utility needed to inform the community about complex issues — such as water main breaks and sewer main collapses — and justify the need for rate increases. We developed the Renew Evansville brand and created a communications plan to help the Utility and the City open a dialogue with customers, giving them a voice to express concerns and ask questions.
Forging relationships with the community early on helped the Utility throughout the entire initiative. Customers and media alike have praised the Utility for its thorough and transparent communications. The Utility remains highly visible, often making front-page news and securing several dozen media hits each year.
During the development of the long-term sewer control plan, we helped the Utility assemble a Citizens Action Committee to maintain a constant connection to the local community.
Throughout the outreach campaign, we organized public meetings in each of the city’s wards and a virtual meeting using #askEWSU to field questions and gain valuable community support. Local elected officials and neighborhood associations were invited to smaller presentations to address concerns unique to a city block or area of town.