Water conservation outreach program wins national award

PACIFIC GROVE, CA, June 5, 2009 -- California American Water won the Public Relations Society of America's National Bronze Anvil Award in the brochure category for a water conservation wheel it developed and mailed to customers...

PACIFIC GROVE, CA, June 5, 2009 -- California American Water won the Public Relations Society of America's National Bronze Anvil Award in the brochure category for a water conservation wheel it developed and mailed to customers in its Monterey District during the spring of 2008. The award was announced at a ceremony held last night in New York City.

The conservation wheel invited California American Customers to spin a wheel which revealed information on how much water could be saved as the result of various water wise actions. The wheel was one piece of a broader "Spring Into Action" campaign, which, utilizing print and broadcast media in addition to mailed materials, urged customers to be mindful of their water use as the irrigation season began. Upon completion of the campaign, the company examined consumption records and found that, adjusting for rainfall, consumption had decreased from previous years during the period in which the public outreach took place.

"Our customers on the Monterey Peninsula have been heeding the call for water conservation since the 1970s," said California American Water manager of external affairs, Catherine Bowie. "But even with the water savings we've accomplished, state restrictions require us to do more. It's difficult to craft a water conservation message that isn't old news to this community, which already uses less water than any area in the state. The Spring Into Action campaign showed our customers' knowledge and understanding of the restraints on our water supply and their willingness to take action to keep consumption within our regulatory limits."

For the past 39 years, the Bronze Anvil Awards have recognized outstanding public relations tactics - the individual items or components that contribute to the success of an overall program or campaign. These tactics - whether a media kit, annual report, newsletter, video program, PSA, speech or Web site - are the hard-working parts of any public relations program. The Bronze Anvil celebrates the best of the best in tactics through categories reflecting their growing scope, creativity and importance in strategic public relations.

Judging is performed across the United States by teams of PRSA members and others with expertise in the specific categories. Only one Bronze Anvil may be awarded in each of the 36 categories and various subcategories. There are no more than two runners-up in any category, and only programs meeting Bronze Anvil criteria are selected. Runners-up receive the Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation. No awards are given in categories where judges determine that the entries do not merit them.

The Public Relations Society of America, based in New York City, is the world's largest organization for public relations professionals. The Society has nearly 32,000 professional and student members. PRSA is organized into more than 100 Chapters nationwide, 19 Professional Interest Sections and Affinity Groups, which represent business and industry, counseling firms, independent practitioners, military, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations. The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has nearly 300 Chapters at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

California American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water, provides high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to more than 600,000 people.

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