Positive change through innovation and inclusion: A fresh start for the UK Water sector

Water Innovation 2020 strategy

The opportunity

UKWIR are a collective of 19 UK water companies working to reimagine and reinvent the UK water sector. Their vision was simple, but big: create a more sustainable future for the UK’s water supply through open collaboration, positive change and innovation.

Through research, they had developed a new strategy for a better water future, but recognised a need for greater diversity and inclusion amongst the voices and groups they sought support from.

They also wanted to ensure their vision for innovating the UK water sector was recognised as a framework for improving society’s most important problems – a catalyst for change that benefits as many people as possible. So, they needed to start the conversation with new and diverse people, but lacked the right channels to reach them.

To raise awareness amongst the wider business community for their ambitious new strategy, they needed an innovative communications partner with fresh thinking and dynamic creative solutions.

What we did

The UK water sector isn’t known for it’s inspiring branding and creativity. It’s usually the last thing on the list. But this fact wasn’t going to work for UKWIR’s ambitious engagement targets.

UKWIR knew that the conversation around the future of the nation’s sustainable water supply needed to involve a wider range of societal representation. But, by launching in their usual way, through their usual channels, they’d be talking to a familiar, already engaged audience..

To get a different result, they had to do things differently. They needed new methodologies and inputs for getting the message out there.

We matched their innovative and technical strategy with bold creative and brilliant pace.

It was:

  • Rapid — In about six weeks, we launched the strategy with communications planning that directly targeted cross-sector audiences and specific job roles. We supplemented the strategy over the following months, following a specialised, targeted feedback mechanic we’d designed to ensure maximum engagement.
  • Remote — We ran online interviews,with key voices and stakeholders, and developed stunning organic, paid video and media assets for social, hitting all of the strategy’s key themes.
  • Real — We launched the strategy with a fresh brand identity. Starting with a consultancy-style document, we brought out humanity and highlighted the heart in UKWIR’s message. We brought the passion out of water infrastructure and innovation with dynamic storytelling and a rallying content plan.
  • Far-reaching — We launched social channels and site-specific content for LinkedIn to drive overall engagement, traffic and downloads of the strategy. We nurtured each channel to a place where it could be handed over to UKWIR’s teams with greater social and digital capability.

We built a specific targeted website, with complex information presented in an accessible yet heavily-branded way.

Why it was brilliant

UKWIR have now attracted a brand new audience of innovation practitioners from a more diverse range of sectors and backgrounds.

Engagement through new channels rose rapidly from zero to 1,300 Linkedin followers and hundreds of  mailing list subscribers.

The strategy achieved 1,876 downloads within the first 3 months of launching, and there were over 6K website sessions in the same frame.

UKWIR with 100’s taking the time to share feedback which was then incorporated into the final strategy

The strategy now has a brand, a presence, and a range of direct ways to involve more valuable thinkers in ongoing conversations.

1,300

Linkedin followers

1,876

downloads within the first 3 months

6K

website sessions