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Latest News & Quarterly Newsletters: E-Newsletter Winter 2017

Executive Director Message

Saturday, February 4, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lisa Anderson
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Total Water Solutions.  Because One Solution Does Not Fit All

By:  Alane E. Boyd, Executive Director

As a member of the Association’s Strategic Coordination Team (SCT) I have had the opportunity to help set direction for One AWWA by implementing programs through AWWA2020.  The area that I focus my expertise in is branding.  Recently, the SCT has turned it sites to the Total Water Solutions Brand. 

The phrase “Total Water Solutions” was first used in AWWA’s 2013 Strategic Plan.  Even though a lot of great work has been done since that time at the Association level to develop Total Water Solutions resources, currently there is not a clear direction as to what Total Water Solutions means or how to seamlessly incorporate it into our programs and services.

To get input on the current state of the Total Water Solutions Brand, I moderated a round table discussion at Summer Workshop that looked to uncover AWWA Opportunities with Total Water Solutions and understand our current limitations. As you might expect there was a lot of confusion surrounding the Total Water Solutions Brand and what it really meant.

After reviewing these comments and through discussions with members and staff the SCT has come up with four recommendations to strengthen the Total Water Solutions Brand.  These include developing a vision, better messaging, becoming the “Go To” organization and target marketing.

  1. The first of these would be to develop a clear vision statement for Total Water Solutions.  Crafting a strategy to distinguish ourselves and identifying how AWWA is to be the leader in Total Water Solutions will be part of the process of developing the vision.  This vision statement will be used to give the clear direction that is needed for Sections and the Association to embrace the Total Water Solutions Brand into our programs and services.
  2. AWWA’s messaging needs to be simple and clear, focusing on the solutions aspect of TWS.  We want our members and customers to look to AWWA for answers to their problems. Some of the messaging aspects may be:

·         Developing a Tagline to go along with TWS.  One such tagline has been suggested (Leila Perkins):

Total Water Solutions:  Because one solution does not fit all.

·         Another item related to messaging would be to develop a better graphic which might help people visualize TWS.  The current graphic focuses on types of water and not on the solutions that AWWA provides.  By focusing a graphic or graphics on AWWA resources that solve problems AWWA may be able to do a better job of conveying the message.

  1. The third recommendation is to become the “Go To” organization for Total Water Solutions by showing how we solve our customer’s problems.  Instead of focusing on the technical supremacy of our Standards and other resources, we need to use the success stories related to those Standards to position our brand as the authority for the Total Water Solutions community. We will become the “Go To” organization if we can show the difference we have made for our customers as proof of that leadership.  By doing this we can look to shift market perceptions and customer inclinations in our favor.
  2. Lastly, AWWA should identify target markets within the Total Water community and identify the segments in which AWWA has a higher potential to do more business in the short term. The collective audience of Total Water Solutions is large.  It will take some time for the Association and Sections to address the needs of this vast community.  So, the growth should be strategic and targeted to bring AWWA Brand Awareness to targeted groups over time and consistently throughout Sections and the Association.

Along with this recommendation, the Association is developing a list of current AWWA resources that cover areas besides Drinking Water.  The resources and their suggested uses will be conveyed to the Sections to be incorporated into the local level programs.

Over the next year or two the Strategic Organization Team will be working through these recommendations to better strengthen AWWA’s position as the leader in Total Water Solutions.

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