Winning programs start with great strategy, incorporate appropriate communication materials and track progress. Here are some examples of the results we’ve achieved.
Sharing the Wonders of Water, One Classroom at a Time
Most of us take water for granted, but it is a precious resource we can’t live without. For that reason, Kentucky American Water wanted to educate school-age children on the treatment process that makes tap water safe and tasty while conveying how important water conservation is.
So they tapped Wiser Strategies to create a new video that takes viewers on a unique tour of Kentucky American Water’s state-of-the-art water treatment plant. The quirky female tour guide is a quick-change artist whose magical spin transports her and viewers quickly from one place to another. She’s joined by plant employees who help demonstrate how science and technology are used in the water treatment and distribution process. Puddles, the company’s rubber ducky mascot, also pops in from time to time, sharing important tips about conservation.
WaterFest, the water utility’s annual community open house, was a perfect setting for the video’s premier, since visitors could watch it before taking a live tour of the water treatment facility. Since then, teachers have welcomed Kentucky American Water representatives into their classrooms and found the video entertaining and successful in keeping their students engaged. They appreciate the information it shares and the opportunities it offers to discuss new terms and concepts that are more interesting because they relate to students’ lives.
DMD Data System’s personnel (some of whom are pictured above) were spending more time than they wanted introducing people to their business. Some friends suggested the company invest in publicity, so they decided to give it a try. Our review of DMD’s operations and business approach revealed the company had potential for gaining media attention. DMD was doing a number of things differently than most small businesses and getting good results. The owners’ self-deprecating humor also is an asset. With that in mind, we helped them replace much of the IT jargon with terms the rest of the world understands and compiled their story into a comprehensive picture of DMD’s unique way of doing business. That compilation has served as the basis for business award entries, news stories, columns in business publications, and a growing respect across the spectrum. Increasingly, founder and president Dave Sevigny and his co-owners are gaining the visibility that will help them continue to grow sales.
Following leadership changes, the board of directors and staff of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce wanted to create a dynamic new brand based on member wants and needs. They also wanted to hear the opinions of Kentucky Chamber members and non members regarding the organization, what direction members wanted their Chamber to go in and what the organization could do to improve member service. Research revealed the terms that participants most often associated with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and what characteristics they wanted their Chamber to have. It also verified that the association’s logo was no longer well regarded. A new tagline and logo concepts were developed using this information. After feedback was obtained from Chamber managers and board members about the new direction, and online testing done with focus group participants, a final selection was made and the new logo and tagline were unveiled. Quantitative and anecdotal responses to the new identity have been overwhelmingly positive, and the Kentucky Chamber has a more current and in-depth understanding of member needs.
Smooth Tax Transition
In a time in which many taxpayers believe they are already overburdened, local governments were required to take steps to ensure their tax collection practices were consistent with new state guidelines. For the city of Nicholasville, this meant changing a complex system that varied by industry into a simpler, consistent rate across the board. Although it was expected to generate about the same tax revenue, it would mean increases for some businesses. We worked with the city to prepare for the questions and concerns that might come up and researched how others were approaching the issue. Working hand-in-hand with the city’s internal and external accountants, we developed a series of communications to introduce the topic and share information in multiple venues, including in the local newspaper, online, in meetings and through personal meetings with business leaders. The net outcome was a smooth transition with virtually no complaints from the business community.