SAN DIEGO – The San Diego County Water Authority and Cook + Schmid today announced their work was recognized by the San Diego Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) with 2020 Bernays awards in the categories of Research and Multicultural Marketing.
“The Water Authority and its 24 member agencies are committed to ensuring that all our region’s communities have a dependable source of healthy, affordable water,” said Denise Vedder, director of public affairs of the Water Authority. “It is an honor to be recognized by PRSA. These awards validate our efforts to effectively communicate a large and growing audience about the safety and purity of tap water.”
The campaign to reach Hispanics in San Diego County used secondary and primary research to determine the most effective messaging and the best channels for communicating to Hispanics about the quality of tap water in the region. That research informed the development and implementation of an integrated campaign to raise awareness about how the Water Authority ensures the safety of drinking water.
It is well documented that many Hispanics prefer bottled water, despite the high-quality tap water delivered to homes in the county. The research showed this preference is due to a variety of reasons, which were directly addressed through a creative campaign that leveraged cultural touchstones and traditions.
The campaign used a variety of tactics, including advertising, news coverage and social media. A partnership with a medical doctor who also is a social media influencer yielded high levels of online engagement. Other tactics included a special on-air Spanish-language media segment, and videos with the influencer were posted to social media and the Water Authority website.
The campaign recorded tens of thousands of hits to the website, long engagement times, and high viewership of videos explaining campaign themes through factual information.
“We were able to measure both quantity and quality of engagement for the campaign and this told us that the audiences we targeted received messages that prompted them to want to learn more about the quality of tap water,” said Jon Schmid, president and CEO of Cook + Schmid. “By providing this information, we educated the target audience about the safety and value of tap water.”
The San Diego Chapter of PRSA recognized the San Diego County Water Authority and Cook + Schmid with a Silver Bernays Merit award for Multicultural Public Relations and a Bronze Bernays Award of Merit for Research/Evaluation for Latino outreach about water quality in the San Diego region at its 2020 virtual awards ceremony.
ABOUT SAN DIEGO COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY
The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $245 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. A public agency created in 1944, the Water Authority delivers wholesale water supplies to 24 retail water providers, including cities, special districts and a military base. For more information, go to www.sdcwa.org.
ABOUT COOK + SCHMID
Cook + Schmid is a full-service marketing, advertising and public relations firm in San Diego, CA. Clients include private and public companies, organizations, institutions, and government agencies. Cook + Schmid offers multi-cultural marketing and public outreach, as well as social media, website, interactive technologies, and mobile application development. For more information, please visit www.cookandschmid.com.