"I am inspired and moved when different sectors come together with a common purpose"
The team at Xylem, the global water technology leader, is dedicated to creating advanced technology and other solutions to solve the world’s water challenges. In this interview Elena Aguilera shares with us some aspects of her role as Marketing and Communications Manager for Iberia at Xylem, where she coordinates the internal and external communications relating to the company’s products and services.
How do you think communication in the water sector has evolved in recent years?
I have been working in the water sector for more than a decade, and what has changed the most is the way of communicating, the target audience and the channels used. We have moved towards digital channels, in a sector where the previous model was wholly off-line and in person.
Communication is linked to social change and the entire sector has evolved to a more adaptive model, with social value, and concerned about the environment.
Why do you think it is important to communicate about water?
Communicating about water is vital: it is a wonderful world that is part of us, essential for life, and finite. It is in our hands to raise awareness about new environmental challenges. We are seeing the effects of climate change, with droughts and water scarcity in certain regions, and floods, disasters and emergencies; we have the chance to help, offer solutions, educate and thrive as a society. The sector has a great opportunity to remind people about the value of water and how to make it available and safe for generations to come.
What are the most challenging aspects of communicating about the work of the water industry?
Xylem covers the entire water cycle, we manufacture and supply pumps, mixers and aeration systems, leak detection technologies, filtration systems and water treatment with oxygen, ozone and UV, and thus the communication with our clients is diverse and the needs are very different. There is no magic solution to communicate, nor a unique approach for everyone.
Each sector, industry or company has its own characteristics, strengths and challenges, so it is a challenge to work at the local level with our partners and clients to understands their needs. Tackling different challenges and working closely with our clients and partners to offer solutions adapted to each situation is a core objective of Xylem.
Could you highlight one of your organization’s communication success stories?
Several come to mind, but these two were particularly rewarding and had a great social impact as well as an impact regarding innovation.
Our awareness campaigns jointly with the Manchester City Football Club: “The end of football” or “Be a water hero” were incredible and very enlightening, about our careless daily water use.
The launch of our Flygt Concertor intelligent pumping system was a milestone for Xylem: a system that adapts easily to the requirements in each facility preventing clogging and managing the pumping station automatically. We have done many campaigns, but when you have something that you know will change the future of pumping systems, it is a lot easier, and you enjoy it.
Who or what organization inspires you when it comes to ways of communicating?
I am inspired and moved when different sectors (water, football, NGOs, public companies, private ones, etc.) come together with a common purpose and collaborate to convey very important messages to the public, such as the value of water, its importance for life, hygiene, and above all, urgent challenges such as water scarcity and affordability, and creating a water secure world for the generations to come.
The water sector has mobilised to face the challenges of the pandemic in a powerful and inspiring way. Working together, we help communities and companies become more resilient and sustainable in the future, and we further our mission: solving water problems.