February 9, 2016
Actually Connecting with Key Audiences
Previous Branding Updates have proposed that the objective of utility branding is to protect the public's interest by securing appropriate investment in resources and infrastructure. No one wants to endure the consequences of low trust and under-investment, namely reduced reliability and degraded service. The primary audiences for ensuring that appropriate investment occurs are policy makers and those in a position to influence policy decisions. We have referred to this latter group as the influential public, and also discussed the high-quality information required to attract and keep their attention.
Delivering Marquee Content, Building Relationships - A great example of making it easy for the influential public to have their "finger on the pulse" of the utility is being implemented by Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD), located in Dublin, California. Their DSRSD Today program delivers very brief articles, 3-4 times per month, to their Board of Directors, elected officials, and other community leaders. These stories meet specific content and formatting standards. For example, they take less than a minute to read, and headlines typically connect an action or investment with a beneficial result. In general, DSRSD Today installments focus on return-on-investment, efficiency, financial management, and important policy decisions. These topics are relevant to customers and the community, and effective in building a strong utility brand.
Recent installments of DSRSD Today are posted at
Increasing Transparency - By spending less than 5 minutes per month reading DSRSD Today articles, community leaders find out what they need to know about the utility's activities, decisions, and performance. Furthermore, policy makers know who is paying attention and what information they have received. These efforts significantly increase transparency, which is not only appropriate, but in itself a great way to build trust and a strong brand.