Communication is crucial to the success of every business organization, and more so, to companies working in the water sector. This precious commodity is a rare substance. Although almost 70% of the world is covered by water, which suprisingly only represents 0.05% of the earth's surface, and of which just 2.5% is freshwater, the water industry has the moral obligation of informing the general public on its reponsible usage.
As part of our communications cycle of interviews, we talk to Elena Reyna, Marketing & Communication Director at ACCIONA Agua, on how this Spanish-based company focuses its water communication.
Question: Firstly, we would like to know briefly your career path.
Answer: I have a Bachelor of Arts in Communications by the American College in London. Since the beginning of my professional career, I have always been involved in the Marketing and Communications departments of various companies and international institutions across the world. Since 2007, I am the Marketing & Communication Director at ACCIONA Agua.
Q: Why do you think it is important to communicate about water?
A: In my opinion, most people have no idea the work it takes to have running water in their houses. They think that since the water runs freely when you turn on a tap, that it is free or that it should be free. To disprove many of these preconceived ideas and to make known all the work that is needed to have safe and high-quality drinking water, communication is vital.
Q: How has the social media phenomenon influenced the way of communicating about water?
A: Social media has completely changed the way we communicate. Nowadays, we have the opportunity to reach different publics; therefore, we need to be alerted all the times and to speak ‘different languages’ to reach them.
Q: What are the main challenges your company faces when informing about the water sector?
A: The great challenge for companies in the water sector is to transfer to the consumer the value of water management (and therefore its costs) since it is captured, treated, distributed, collected and poured into the water and returned to the environment.
Q: What type of water news do you think the public is most interested in?
A: News related to any change in water rates is always interesting. The public also welcomes any didactic information such as how a desalination plant works or how water actually is supplied to their homes.
Q: Lastly, could you highlight one of your company’s communications success stories or a water-related communications success story you found interesting?
A: The communication campaign we did two years ago during the ‘World Water Day’ to give value to Wastewater treatment, by placing a giant crockery in the Ría de Bilbao was a communication success that received several awards. Moreover, I think ACCIONA Agua’s position as one of the leading companies in desalination in the world is thanks to a successful communications strategy. Finally, and most recently, I would highlight a meeting we organized of ‘Women and Water’ in Madrid, a pioneering concept in the water industry.