Public Relations Plan Needed For City of Saratoga Springs

The City of Saratoga Springs (the City) is seeking Proposals from qualified firms for the development and implementation of a public relations plan and campaign to encourage customers to use a new online “customer portal” tool to track and analyze their water usage. The purpose of the tool is to provide easy and secure access to water usage data with customizable alerts, so customers can make the best choices about how they use and conserve water. The selected firm will w

The desired outcome of the public relations campaign is to help the City’s customers understand the following:

1. Smart metering has been implemented city-wide in both the Drinking and Irrigation water systems.

2. A Customer Portal is available that puts you in greater control of your water use and bills.

3. Information is available on how to fully utilize the Customer Portal and the customizable alerts.

4. Usage of the Customer Portal helps conserve water for community sustainability and future growth.

The campaign should make customers aware of the smart metering capability, direct them to sign up for the customer portal, teach and encourage them to create custom alerts, and encourage regular use of the tool to track and manage their water usage. The campaign will also educate about the individual customer benefits of more-efficient water use, such as lower bills, and the cumulative, community-wide benefits of many customers each making adjustments to reduce water consumption. The campaign will also demonstrate the City’s commitment to providing water customers, residents and taxpayers, with a high level of service and attentive stewardship of our precious resources.

The campaign should also assist the City with the following objectives

• Creating a measurable goal for the campaign.

• Creating a persuasive message and identifying strategic message placement opportunities

• Develop Customer Engagement Strategies and tools

• Develop a media strategy and monitor community conversations during the campaign

• Anticipate Roadblocks 

The selected firm will develop a public relations campaign plan and implement its components. Recognizing there are many effective ways to inform, educate and engage customers, respondents are encouraged to propose strategies and tactics that are creative, effective and cost-efficient. Proposers are also encouraged to incorporate existing communications channels and resources, such as the City’s website, social media accounts, and utility bill mailers, into campaign plans.

Background:

The City recently added “smart metering” technology to its drinking and irrigation water supply system. This Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) includes smart meters, towers and other hardware that allows the City to continuously collect water usage data and to put that directly into the hands of its approximately 6,000 customers (35,000 residents). This new capability helps the City better manage supply and demand throughout the water system. Customers benefit from easy, secure access to see and analyze their usage patterns, allowing them greater control over their water usage and bills. Providing customers with easily accessible and useful information can help raise awareness about perceived versus actual water use, encouraging some customers to use less. The City’s overarching goal for the public relations campaign is to encourage customers to use the platform and to realize a reduction in per capita water use. Industry research has found that smart metering technology has helped to reduce water use by 2.5% to 28.6% with an average of 12%. Another study showed that households that regularly monitored their water use were less likely to have a leak, and when a leak did occur, they repaired it more quickly, saving both water and money. But these benefits only happen when customers see their data and understand the opportunities, hence the need to market the platform to customers. While the main advantage of the smart metering technology is water savings by end users, system wide implementation can benefit all City residents in several ways: 

• Water rates can be set more precisely when based on actual usage

• Leaks can be identified and fixed more quickly

• Better information and adaptability help keep up with growth

• Easy access to information improves customer service and experience

Scope of Work:

The campaign should make customers aware of the smart metering capability, direct them to sign up for the customer portal, teach and encourage them to create custom alerts, and encourage regular use of the tool to track and manage their water usage. The campaign will also educate about the individual customer benefits of more-efficient water use, such as lower bills, and the cumulative, community-wide benefits of many customers each making adjustments to reduce water consumption. The campaign will also demonstrate the City’s commitment to providing water customers, residents and taxpayers, with a high level of service and attentive stewardship of our precious resources.

The campaign should also assist the City with the following objectives

• Creating a measurable goal for the campaign.

• Creating a persuasive message and identifying strategic message placement opportunities

• Develop Customer Engagement Strategies and tools

• Develop a media strategy and monitor community conversations during the campaign

• Anticipate Roadblocks 

The selected firm will develop a public relations campaign plan and implement its components. Recognizing there are many effective ways to inform, educate and engage customers, respondents are encouraged to propose strategies and tactics that are creative, effective and cost-efficient. Proposers are also encouraged to incorporate existing communications channels and resources, such as the City’s website, social media accounts, and utility bill mailers, into campaign plans.

Due Date:

April 9th

Address:

City of Saratoga Springs 1307 North Commerce Drive Suite 200 Saratoga Springs, Utah 84045

Relevant agencies include Alison Brod PR and Hunter PR.