Working collaboratively with a FTSE 100 water utility company to provide internal and external communications

We work with Severn Trent to deliver creative solutions for a range of communications and campaigns, including B2B, B2C, behaviour change and direct marketing.

With the regulatory stakes higher than ever, and competition coming into the sector for the first time, we are helping Severn Trent create and deliver long-term, impactful initiatives and communications that are changing how employees and their 8 million customers think, feel and act.

‘Sewer Savvy’ Campaign

The campaign was briefed as Severn Trent continues to work to reduce instances of sewer blockages and flooding across their network. A number of agencies were asked to
develop initial concepts, all of which were put into independent testing. Our two concepts scored highest out of all submitted proposals. There was a clear winner out of the two, which we were asked to progress further.

The challenge

Getting the message across that pee, poo and toilet paper are the only things that should be put down the loo required a sensitive touch. No-one really wants to think about their most personal toilet habits, let alone talk about them. Yet encouraging dialogue was critical to the success of the campaign in changing customer behaviour.

We created a scope of communications including out of home, digital media, animated films, online banners, social media and print publications and a range of stakeholder, partnership and education materials.

Half-time film for Stoke City FC partnership

How do you communicate with 28,000 people who aren’t listening? This tricky brief was given to us by Severn Trent, who wanted to produce two short films highlighting what not to flush down your loo or pour down your sink. Shown at a local football derby at half time, we took our inspiration from silent movies, painting a clear narrative with grand gestures and gentle humour.

Shadow Market Operations
Internal education and
awareness campaign

Shadow Market operations marked a business-critical milestone in Severn Trent’s journey to market opening – when every business customer in the UK can choose their water supply service provider. As the biggest change to happen in the water industry since privatisation, Severn Trent needed employees to understand and embrace the changes required in separating the wholesale and retail operations. rbl created a strong visual identity and messaging to encourage employees to embrace the principles and behaviour changes required of everyone within the business.

Water Quality

Severn Trent’s Water Quality campaign was developed to inform their customers and help them better self serve, should they find their water looks cloudy or murky, or tastes like chlorine. The simple instructions for quick and easy water fixes to each problem were rolled out across direct mailings, including an interactive reminder, social media, animations and a number of printed communications.

Super hero for service

To support Severn Trent’s new CEO, Liv Garfield, in her mission to create customer service ambassadors across the business, we were tasked with creating a dedicated Customer Day. Colleagues were picked to take part in this fun, stimulating, ‘unlike business as usual’ event to share and discuss ideas for improving customer service and help drive cultural change within the organisation.

We were involved in theme and design development, as well as production and procurement of all elements; bringing the whole venue space to life to encourage creative thinking and interaction and create a bit of a customer-focused buzz!

Informing, engaging and inspiring water users to think, feel and act differently

We created and supported the launch of an engaging employee volunteering initiative, Water Champions, that involves Severn Trent people building water efficient gardens in local schools, encouraging young water users to think differently about how they use water at school and home.

Let’s Talk Water

To help inform Severn Trent’s strategic planning process for the next 5 years, we designed and delivered a ‘Let’s Talk Water’ roadshow, travelling across the region to talk to customers about a vital utility that many of us often take for granted and to understand their concerns for the future. With a taste test challenge sparking a dialogue (bottled vs. tap), the event generated a significant amount of local television, radio and press PR.

“rbl have provided me with an invaluable extension of my communications team. Rebecca’s quick understanding of the strategy and brand, married with practical experience, a creative brain, great interpersonal skills and the ability to turn an idea around on a sixpence has been invaluable."

Rob Salmon, Group Head of Communication, Severn Trent Water

Designing and delivering essential communications projects

Working closely with the Communications team, we continue to deliver creative solutions that are revitalising communications across the business, engaging employees at every level. Recent projects have included rebranding Severn Trent’s cascade process, Team Talk, and implementing a comprehensive, self-help process for employees to make the most of procurement services.