San Antonio Water System

Situation: In 2018, SAWS challenged talkStrategy to come up with a way to increase the organization’s social and digital presence, engagement and overall community dialogue. SAWS has many unique programs from long-term consumer education about water sourcing, conservation, and infrastructure health (grease and wipes disposal), to short-term calls-to-action about seasonal water restrictions and freeze warnings. The client needed a strategic approach to social media that could encompass a wide range of topics while remaining relevant in the social space. It was also important to help tell the story – oftentimes complex information – into consumer-friendly and interesting information.

Strategy: talkStrategy launched a “Making San Antonio Waterful” digital and social marketing campaign aimed to generate understanding about the numerous ways the organization is preparing for drought, focusing on conservation efforts, and highlighting water projects that will provide a plentiful water supply today and for generations to come. Through research, it was confirmed that SAWS customers want to hear more about the work SAWS does and how rate dollars are used. The implementation of this campaign utilized social media and digital marketing strategies, with limited print ads, to communicate with customers who may or may not be familiar with all that SAWS does, in a meaningful and relevant way. Through the “Making San Antonio Waterful” campaign, the SAWS communications team wanted to broaden its digital and social presence to reach new audiences in innovative ways. Although the core of the campaign focused on social and digital strategies, there was also a traditional avenue (print) to ensure the audiences who primarily consume information through traditional avenues continued to be reached with this campaign. Each month the campaign pieces changed depending on the theme. The Waterful campaign focused on four key message pillars.

Impact:A first for SAWS, this campaign provided an opportunity to test new social and digital marketing strategies, and find out which were most effective in reaching new audiences and growing existing SAWS social/digital communities. A total of 72 pieces of communication creative for social and digital efforts were developed to execute the campaign. Overall, the campaign generated more than 8 million impressions. More important than impressions, this campaign met the goal of increasing customer engagement and building the audience, specifically reaching a younger (millennial) audience to begin engaging them in water issues and topics.

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