Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2015 - (Page 22)
PuBlIC relatIONS aND MarketING
Quality on tap!
A recognizable brand that
tells the story of rural water
BY SaNDY SMItH
When Mark Johnson, CEO of
Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water in Lake
Benton, Minn., talks with clients who have
switched from well water to his system, he
hears a familiar story.
"They say, 'Since I switched over to
rural water, I don't have the sulfates and
my baby pigs just did so much better,'"
Johnson said. "'They're surviving and
finish out faster.' That's an important
measurement to them. When it
comes to economics, they can see the
difference, even though they are now
paying for water."
In Minnesota, pork farming is a
significant aspect of the state's economy-
tallying $7.28 billion in 2013. It's no wonder
that the benefits of quality water resonate
with those whose livelihood rely on it. In
other communities, the issue may focus on
health concerns for families or a consistent
product for industrial uses.
Regardless, rural water systems
deliver quality water to their customers
every day. It's often a message that can
get overlooked and water systems taken
for granted, especially since high quality
affordable water is so readily accessible,
in even the most remote parts of the
"Water utilities are out of sight, out
of mind," said Greg Merrigan, system
manager, Clay Rural Water System in
Wakonda, S.D. "When people have good
quality water, they don't think of the rural
water system. It's easy for people to take
us for granted."
That is one reason that Clay
Rural Water-along with many other
systems-makes use of the Quality on
Tap branding program developed by the
National Rural Water Association 20 years
ago. The campaign helps reinforce the
message of the quality of work done by
rural water systems-and the quality of
"As many places as we can put that out
there, it helps them think of us in a positive
light," Merrigan said. "And not just think of
us once a month when they get their bills."
Sharing the story
In the last two decades, the program
has taken on a life of its own. Rural
water systems have found creative
and interesting ways to showcase
Through the years, "we've slapped
that puppy on anything you can imagine,"
said Scott Ham, manager of the
7,200-customer Silver Creek Water Corp.,
in Sellersburg, Ind. He has seen other rural
FOurtH Quarter 2015
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2015
From the President
Who’s Telling Your Story?
Quality on Tap!
New Affinity Partner Takes the Pain Out of Having a Website for your Town or Water System
You Own Your Dreams
Another Successful WaterPro Conference
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2015