For journalists and the general public the Communication team is often the first point of contact for information about KWR. The team manages internal and external communication and is responsible for a colourful palette of media: a range of websites, digital newsletters, exhibition stands and social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
By ensuring structure and continuity in corporate communication, KWR constantly profiles itself as a high-quality knowledge institute and a clearly recognisable part of the knowledge infrastructure of the Netherlands. The researchers at KWR contribute substantially to that profile in their communication.
Unlocking and implementing knowledge
Communication makes KWR’s scientific knowledge and expertise available to water professionals, lobbying groups, journalists and engaged citizens both in the Netherlands and abroad. Our Communication Policy is based on KWR’s Knowledge and Innovation Model. Our motto – ‘Bridging Science to Practice’ – is an important fundamental aspect of this.
The transfer of knowledge can only be effective when new knowledge is actively implemented. At KWR communication plays an important role in the implementation of knowledge. We study our target groups and we test new (interactive) resources such as animations, infographics and social media. By using new insights into what ‘works’ from a communication point of view our researchers are able to accelerate and increase the relevance of their knowledge and expertise.
Together with researchers
Scientific publications need adaptation in order to make them accessible for the general public. In simple terms, extra background information, visual infographics and videos. That’s the job of Communication and is something that we do together with the researchers.
Communication advisers are involved in projects to help researchers transfer their knowledge effectively, which is an approach that can speed up the implementation of their advice. The recipient of the information is the primary focal point in this; what is his or her pattern of expectation or reference framework? How can we connect with that effectively?
The better the connection between our researchers and their clients, the better the personal transfer of knowledge. And – which is also a task of Communication – the better the perception of KWR ‘as an institute’ matches those day-to-day personal experiences.
Together with our clients and collaboration partners we can then ensure a strong water sector brand. The water technology sector in the Netherlands is professional, knowledgeable and innovative. That is also a message emphasised continuously by Communication.
By working closely with our professional colleagues at the drinking water companies and with our collaboration partners, Communication contributes to informative news with new scientific insights about topical subjects. Examples are Pyrazole in the Maas, drugs in sewers, risks associated with fracking and the citizens of Amsterdam who test their tap water.
New communication resources
In order to know what’s happening in the world in our fields of expertise, Communication ‘listens’ to many (international) channels: offline and online newspapers and broadcasters, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. We call that ‘(social) media monitoring’. What is topical today? Who is asking for what information, who is disseminating what information? In what ‘frame’ is that taking place? Is it positive, negative or neutral? Do we need to respond? If so, then how? If not, why not?
When it concerns water quality (in the broadest sense of the word) then we want to know about it quickly so we can decide whether action is required. Conversely, the same monitoring provides us with information about the impact of our own communication network (tweets, columns, news articles, etc.). In that way KWR is able to remain in dialogue with society.
Our online communication allows us to operate using frontline resources and methods (modern social media, responsive websites, animations, etc.). We do that for example in the ‘New Means of Communication’ Exploratory Study – in conjunction with the Dutch water companies.