What We Do

Our mission is to ensure the American people enjoy clean and safe water, outdoors and at home. We do this by helping our clients and students use outreach and communication to achieve the following outcomes:
  • More Environmental Stewardship: We can help you develop programs to influence your audience's personal or business habits in the right direction. 
  • Stronger Law and Policy: We help both governments and nonprofits bring citizens into the legislative and policy making process. 
  • Increased Revenue. We can help organizations raise money from individual donors and pursue federal and foundation grant funding.
  • Better First Impressions. We can "brand" new or existing organizations to make a positive impression on supporters and stakeholders. 
Here are summary descriptions of our individual services:

Consulting Services

Project Kickoff

At the outset of each project, Water Words That Work, LLC will schedule an administrative conference call with your team to:
  • Set up billing and time tracking arrangements
  • Assign primary points of contact and introduce other project team members
  • Review the scope of work and answer any questions you may have
  • Update and confirm the project timeline

Communication Checkup

Working closely with your staff, we will review your communications program to identify your strengths and weaknesses. To start, we will interview key personnel to assess your outreach and communications program. Then we will use a web survey to gather "big picture" input on your goals and accomplishments from your board, committee, or coalition partners.

Outreach Jumpstart

We will lead your team through a structured brainstorming session around options to meet your communication needs. We will start by presenting you with a suite of sample activities that are relevant to your organization and your mission. Then we will brainstorm together until we agree on an approach that is a great fit for your organization!

Strategy Brief

Once we have made the big decisions together, we will work with you to flesh out the ideas into a 12-15 page summary document that we call the “strategy brief.” Our strategy brief covers the following areas:
  • Target Audiences: Who you will try to reach, and what you want them to do
  • Message Delivery and Response: How you will reach them, and how they can respond to the message
  • Goals: A quantifiable and measurable description of what you seek to achieve with your effort
  • Message Guidelines: The core messages, types of images, logos, colors, and typography you should include
  • Overall Approach: The phases of work and areas of responsibility for each team member
  • Budget and Funding Options: The budget and options for raising the funds to implement the plan
  • Editorial Calendar: A matrix that outlines the communications schedule, such as newsletters, email newsletters, Facebook posts, etc, for up to two years

Implementation Plan

Over a series of 4 conference calls, we will work with you to create a project management tool. You can use this tool to guide the execution of your effort, coordinate your team, and measure and report on your results. The tool includes the following features:
  • Dashboard: At-a-glance project management and results reporting
  • Tasks: What gets done, who does it, and when
  • Budget: The dollars and hours required to complete the effort.
  • Projections and Results: A detailed forecast for how you will achieve your goals and a place to track what you actually accomplish
  • Team Workload: How many hours you are committing each team member for, and when 

Phase Project Management

We will schedule and prepare for check-in calls, answer client questions, ensure team members and vendors follow through on assignments, and troubleshoot unexpected delays and problems.

Project Wrap Up

At the end of each medium or large project, we will bundle up our deliverables into single package. We will prepare a final report summarizing our accomplishments, lessons learned, and recommendations for future efforts. 

Quick Critique

Our consultants will review one public-oriented message (brochure, website, advertisement, interpretive sign, blast email, etc.) and compare it best practices for content and delivery strategy. We will then make recommendations for how to improve this piece and future pieces like it.

Training Services

Planning, Schedule, Handouts

We will convene a conference call to review your training needs and determine course selection, schedule, prepare handouts, and make necessary travel arrangements.

Principal Travel and Onsite Day

Water Words owner will travel to your location, spend up to 8 hours onsite with you, and stay one night.

Principal Onsite Day

Water Words' owner will spend up to 8 hours onsite at your location, and stay one night.

Principal Local Rate

Water Words owner will travel to a location within 3 hours drive of Frederick, MD, and spend up to 6 hours onsite.

Project Manager Travel and Onsite day

A project manager or trainer will travel to your location, spend up to 8 hours onsite with you, and stay one night.

Project Manager Onsite Day

A project manager/trainer will spend up to 8 hours onsite at your location, and stay one night.

Project Manager Local Rate

A project manager/trainer will travel to a location within 3 hours drive of their home city, and spend up to 6 hours onsite.

Online Training Series

We will lead your group -- up to 15 people -- through three 90 minute training sessions with an optional homework assignment that students can complete to earn CEU credits.

Capstone Project

We will guide your group -- up to 6 people -- though a series of facilitated discussions to think through all aspects of an outreach or communications effort. At the conclusion of the capstone, participants will have a complete strategy brief they can use.

Research Services

Benefit & Barriers Snapshot

What kind of program would appeal to your audience? We will invite answers from our Due Diligence Test Panel. We will ask 50 members of your target audience to share their views on the environmental behavior of your choice. Panelists will share their thoughts on why they would - and would not -- do what you want them to do. They will reveal how they get information on your topic and what sources they trust.

Custom Online Survey

We will work with you to create a customized online survey with up to 25 questions. We will secure responses by sending two emails to a list that you provide us with. For an extra fee, we can gather input from our Due Diligence Test Panel. Once we have gathered the responses, we will compile the results and provide recommendations based on the feedback received.

Google Keywords, Trends, and Analytics

How do you optimize your website and online outreach? We will use three Google research tools to provide you with insights:
  • Keywords: What terms does your target audience use when using the Google search engine? 
  • Trends: Is your target audience searching for your work more or less over time? 
  • Analytics: Who are your website visitors? How did they get there? What did they do while they were there?

Literature Review

What market research is already available on your topic? We will work with you to find out. First, we will work with you to define your research objectives. Then we will scour the web for relevant and reliable sources, such as surveys, research reports, peer-reviewed journal articles, and white papers. We will review what we find and synthesize the information into a ~10 page report.

Message Test

Does your message hit the mark? We will recruit 50 members of your target audience read, watch, or listen to your public-facing message. Panelists will rate the piece on various criteria and share their reaction with you. We will provide you with a summary report and recommendations for how to improve the piece. This service is suitable for short messages like:
  • Brochures
  • Interpretative Signs
  • Press releases or Op Eds
  • Fundraising Letters
  • Web Pages
  • Print or Broadcast Advertisements
  • Electronic Petitions
  • Etc.

Outreach Options Inventory

What are the various ways you could reach your audience? How much would each option cost? We will scope out your options for public relations, social media, online advertising, direct mail, and grassroots outreach. We will compile findings from the US Census, mailing list brokers, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other resources. We will provide you with a summary report that you can use to make smart choices about how to deliver your message.

Revenue Roadmap

Serious outreach costs real money. Where can you find it? We will review your outreach project and the budget you need for it. Then we will dig through databases of federal and foundation grants looking for matches. We will provide you with a report on potential funding sources and tips for how to get started pursuing each one.

Member/Supporter Survey

How do your members perceive your organization and how could you find more like them? To find out, we will prepare an online survey for you to circulate to your supporters via email and social media. The survey will explore how they found you, what they value about your work, how often they want to hear from you, and more. We will prepare a summary report and make recommendations for how to improve your member services -- and where to find others likely to join.

Target Prospect Research

Using a combination of data-mining and crowdsourcing techniques, we can help you turn a long list of names and addresses (from a GIS layer or other source) into a short list of hot prospects for getting involved in your work. We offer this service to help organizations discover and approach individuals who are are likely donate, advocate, or participate in financial and technical assistance programs.

Website User Test

Are your website visitors finding what they came for -- or are they getting lost? To find out, we will invite Due Diligence Test Panel members to complete a virtual “treasure hunt” on your website. Once the panelists have completed their assignments, they will rate your site on various criteria and provide insights into how you can improve their experience.

Outreach Outsourcing Services

Facebook Ads: Creative Development

We will create a post or photo carousel, using photos that you supply, to "boost" on Facebook.

Facebook Ads: Administration

We will boost your post (or posts) to your target audience on Facebook for one month. We will set the audience targeting, budget, destination link, run date and time, and pay for the ads on your behalf. When the campaign ends, we will provide you with a summary report of the results.

Banner Ads: Creative Development

We will create a suite of 5 banner ads, using photos that you supply. The ad formats will be suitable for placing across the Internet through the Google Display Network

Banner Ads: Execution and Reporting

We will serve your banner ads to your target audience across the Internet for one month. We will place your ads through the Google Display Network (a broker) and set the budget, destination link, run date and time, and pay for the ads on your behalf. When the campaign ends, we will provide you with a summary report of the results.

Copywriting & Editing

We price our copywriting and editing services in blocks of 500 words. This approximately one page of plain text (e.g. a press release) or two pages of designed text (e.g. a brochure)

Email Blast

We will write, design, and send an email over your signature, to a list that you supply, using our email blast tool

Desktop Publishing

We price our desktop publishing (e.g. reports) services by the page.

Graphic Design

We price our graphic design services (e.g. brochures, billboards, print ads) by the piece.

Multimedia, Up to 30 Seconds

We will script and produce a 30 second audio-video piece, suitable for use in broadcast or online advertising. We will write the script and create the piece using voiceover artists, photos and video that you supply, and stock photos and video that we purchase on your behalf.

Multimedia, Up to 3 Minutes

We will script and produce an audio-video piece, up to three minutes in length. We write the script and create the piece using voiceover artists, photos and video that you supply, and stock photos and video that we purchase on your behalf.

Pitching: Preparation

We will prepare a pitch script, pitch email, voicemail scripts, and follow up email to approach your target audience. We will also prepare a spreadsheet to track the results of this outreach

Pitching: Calls & Emails

We will approach your audience (e.g. journalists, stakeholders, residents, partners) via phone and email for one hour, which is generally sufficient to reach 10 individuals.


Showroom Website

We build attractive, low cost, low hassle websites that are mobile-ready and search engine friendly. We develop sites using the Google Sites platform, which has several features that make it a good fit for our clientele:
  • It’s Free. Google hosts the site for free (according to Google's terms of service). Once the site launches, your only expense is to register your domain (www.yourdomain.org). 
  • "Cloud" Software. You can have multiple editors, who can all manage the site from any computer. It is similar to managing a Facebook profile.
  • Maintenance Free. You have none of the hassle or expense of backups, upgrades, debugging, or hacker attacks that you would have with “open source” software like WordPress or Drupal.
  • Document Management. You can easily upload up to 100MB of PDFs and other documents you wish to share for no additional cost. 
  • Interactivity. Easily display maps, videos, slideshows, sign up forms, petitions, and more.
  • Mobile Friendly. The site will automatically adjust itself for phones and tablets.
To develop your site, you will start by choosing one of our six templates as a starting place. Then we will schedule 6 90 minute sessions to work with you to:
  • Tailor the site’s overall appearance and organization to your liking
  • Help you understand your visitors’ likely habits and how to prepare content accordingly
  • Train you to add, remove, and reorganize text and photos
  • Help you optimize your pages to turn up in more Google searches
  • Help you craft your pages to look good on phones and tablets
  • Launch the site on your domain, set up web tracking, and configure Google’s webmaster tools
Note: If you need the extra capability of a WordPress-powered website and have the resources to manage it, we have a great partner to refer you to.

Webpage Content

We will write one page of text (~250 words), place up to three photos, and optimize the page for Google Search.

Email/Social Media Account Setup and Integration

We will add signup boxes and buttons that it make it easy for website visitors to stay in touch with you via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

Branding Services

Written Branding

We will help articulate your organization's work with a suite of carefully selected words. The written branding package includes:
  • Name
  • Slogan
  • Formal written mission statement
  • Informal, spoken elevator speech
We will come up with 6 first-round candidate names and slogans and 3 first-round mission statements and elevator speeches for your review. We will meet with you up to three times to edit and narrow the candidate pool to three of each for testing with a group of your choice. Once you have the test results, we will meet with you twice to select and revise the final choices.

For additional fees, you may:
  • Order additional suites of initial candidates
  • Arrange to test semifinalists with our test panel
  • Arrange for additional meetings to review and revise semifinalists and the final choice

Visual Branding

We will help you lay the visual foundation to make your organization look great! We will work with you to develop a logo and a palette of complementary colors to use in your materials. Our logo package includes:
  • A suite of at least one dozen initial candidates
  • Three rounds of revision to your ""semifinalists"" -- your top three of those initial candidates
  • A test of the three semifinalist candidates with a review group you provide
  • Three rounds of revision to your ""finalist"" -- the top choice of the three
  • Final logo files in AI, EPS, JPG, TIFF, GIF, PNG formats
  • A suite of recommended colors to compliment your logo
For additional fees, you may:
  • Order additional suites of initial candidates
  • Order extra rounds of revision to your three "semifinalists"
  • Arrange to test semifinalists with our test panel
  • Order extra rounds of revision to the finalist

Identity Package

We will bring your branding materials to life with a professionally designed business identity package. Our identity package includes:
  • Business Cards (Up to 5 names and titles)
  • Envelopes
  • Stationery
  • PowerPoint Template
  • We will deliver the files in industry-standard formats and you can print them anywhere you choose.