Wednesday 11:00 AM
[Presentation PDF]

Room: Illinois

Using Notification Systems to Improve Internal and External Communications

We live in the Instant Information Age. A water utility's customers are receiving the news they want - no matter how important or trivial - whenever they want it through their wired and wireless devices. As a result, their expectations have risen. If anything happens that could affect their essential services or daily routines, they expect to be told about it directly, and as quickly as possible. Notification systems can improve your crisis communications to meet the rising expectations of your customers and various key stakeholders, including local elected officials, regulatory agencies, and the media. Readily available systems can be tailored to specific utility needs and seamlessly integrated into current emergency response plans. Finally, these systems are proven to pay for themselves through the stronger relationships they produce within the community and the positive coverage they generate in the media.

Moderator:  Jerry Bever


Mike McGill - 24/7 Communications

Mike McGill is the president of 24/7 Communications, a crisis communications consulting firm that helps water and wastewater utilities improve their relationships with their customers, regulatory agencies and key elected officials.  He is also currently the Director of Communications and Customer Service for Loudoun Water, which serves 200,000 people outside of Washington, DC.  One of his first tasks with the utility was to upgrade its ability to provide emergency notifications to its customers.
Prior to starting 24/7 Communications and joining Loudoun Water, Mr. McGill served as the Public Affairs Coordinator for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), serving 1.8 million people in the DC suburbs.  He built and administered the Commission’s Customer Notification System, the largest alert system of its kind in the country.  He also served as WSSC's main spokesperson during major emergencies and authored its new SOPs for emergency communications. 

Before moving into the public relations and crisis communications fields, Mike produced CNN’s media criticism program, "Reliable Sources”, as well the public affairs programs "Crossfire” and "The Capital Gang”.  He also served as the planning editor for news coverage for the CBS affiliate in Washington.