Copper Consultancy hosted a roundtable last week (25 May) in partnership with the Future Water Association. To present the findings of Copper’s report: The Water pipeline – Readiness and reassurance: A study of public attitudes to the water sector.
Joined by a range of guests from across the water sector, including water companies, regulators, supply chain and government. A host of interesting questions asked by our guests, provoking some insightful discussion points. But what is a clear take away from the roundtable, is that good engagement with stakeholders and customers will be critical for the sector, particularly with the host of challenges we must tackle.
We have identified six key takeaways from the session:
- Mistaking apathy for support – It is clear from our findings and feedback that whilst there may be apathy by many stakeholders towards the sector, this cannot be mistaken for support.
- Building trust takes years and moments to lose – It is critical we build trust with our stakeholders, and this cannot be done overnight.
- Being proactive and strategic around trust building – Engaging early, and efficiently is important to secure buy-in with stakeholders/customers. It is also about being consistent, reliable, empathetic and focusing on audiences.
- Reaching the target audiences – The sector providing genuine investment in understanding its audiences, channels and message strategy will be key to success.
- Explaining the challenges clearly – Acceptance and buy-in cannot be achieved without awareness. So, engaging with stakeholders to develop understanding of how the sector operates is critical.
- Water companies leading – Stakeholders demonstrate that they believe water companies are the best placed to drive and tackle the challenges in the sector, in partnership with others.
Copper Consultancy will be holding future events in partnership with Future Water. These will examine further the critical challenges and importance of good public engagement. We will advertise these events in due course.
In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about work in the sector, or if we can support you with any of your challenges in this space, please do get in touch by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org