10 May 2012

Synergy CIM visit to Wessex Water’s Operations

This week Sam attended the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) company visit to Wessex Water which has been hailed as one of the greenest offices in Europe.

Sam is on the CIM Bristol and West branch committee helping to organise events in the region. The event, was a fantastic opportunity to learn how the company has become one of the most efficient water and sewerage companies in England and Wales.

The speaker was Marilyn Smith, Head of Public and Community Relations and two of her team, who discussed their approach to media relations, internal and external communications and social media. It was interesting too see how engaged the company is with it’s customers which traditionally may not have always been the case with companies that are private monopolies (people have no choice whether to use them or not).

What did we learn?

Wessex Water believe that customers and employees now expect ‘Amazon’ style interaction and have been developing their communications channels particularly web based ones by making use of analytics, developing live chat and a really receptive online Q&A section to name a few. The company has been really smart in it’s use of social media by understanding that customers now want to have a two way dialogue with the businesses they use. The company has embraced Twitter and Youtube and says that it’s important to monitor, listen and engage.

Employing over 2000 people – their tips for employee communications included:

– Develop a top down and bottom up approach

– Aim to deliver timely and appropriate content re-purposed across many platforms

– Build employee knowledge and understanding to build overall company success

– It’s the people on the ground, those who are face-to-face with customers who are living corporate comms

We were given a tour of the building which was built with sustainability in mind using recycled materials and has natural ventilation, lighting controlled by movement, solar powered water heating and the collection of rainwater for flushing the toilets!

All in all, a great evening.

Next event – a talk from the NHS in July. Get in touch with us to find out more by emailing hello@mccannsynergy.com.uk.

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