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Challenge: Coordinate Community Affairs Across California

California Water Service, or Cal Water, is the largest private water utility provider in the state of California, serving more than 2 million residents from Chico in the north down to the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the south. With 25 service areas across the state, it serves 110 diverse communities, cities, and counties. To engage with public officials in these communities and track policy issues relevant to Cal Water at the federal, state, and local level, Justin Skarb, Director of Community Affairs, was using six different software platforms, each meeting a different need of Cal Water’s community affairs operation:
  1. Federal legislative tracking
  2. State legislative tracking
  3. Local agenda tracking
  4. Interaction logging
  5. Legislative contact information
  6. Public official social media tracking
“It just was not efficient and gets relatively expensive with all those different platforms.” Skarb said, “You never really become an expert on any one platform because you're not spending as much time there as you are elsewhere and everybody sets up their databases somewhat differently. Being able to have all that information in one place makes it easier from an administrative standpoint,” Using six different platforms created a learning and administrative challenge in keeping track of each system. Skarb and Cal Water’s community affairs team, along with local district managers spread across the state, wanted to more cohesively and proactively engage on their policy portfolio.

Solution: One Integrated System Allows for 360 Degree View of Community Affairs Efforts

Skarb turned to Quorum to replace the six platforms his team previously used to track legislation, log interactions with officials, communicate with stakeholders, and track social media dialogue on their issue priorities all in one place.

Scan Local Agenda Postings for Key Issues to Identify Which Meetings to Attend

As a multi-district utility provider, Cal Water uses Quorum to track the issues they care about as well as mentions of those issues in each service area’s local government agendas. Instead of manually sorting through local agendas as they are posted to identify which meetings district managers need to attend, Quorum Local scans each agenda as it’s posted for the keywords Skarb’s team tracks and notifies everyone — from Cal Water headquarters down to local district managers, where conversations and decisions will happen on key issues. By automating their issue tracking, Skarb and his team can rededicate their time back to building relationships with key legislators by scheduling more meetings. “The ability to track various issue areas allows us to use Quorum as an early warning system,” Skarb said. “For example — have we seen an uptick in the number of meetings that focus on the cost of water service? If we did have that, we would have an early warning that signals the community is getting upset about water rates. That’s an important thing to track.” Cal Water uses this same process to get alerts on state and federal bills and committee hearings to track legislation on their issues at all levels.

Analyze Public Official’s Social Media Dialogue to Gain Insight on Their Stance

To prepare for a meeting, team members use Quorum to read through elected officials’ social media posts to filter for any posts that mention Cal Water or Cal Water’s issue priorities.[callout align="left" heading="Turn social media dialogue into actionable government relations strategy" button_text="Learn how" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/blog/social-media-government-relations-strategy/"] Tracking social media offers insight into what's top of mind for legislators and how Cal Water’s issues are perceived by the public officials they’re meeting with. These insights allow Skarb’s team to brief themselves on an official’s stance and gauge an official’s opinion on Cal Water’s issues ahead of a meeting. “Tracking that information we're getting from outside sources and being able to couple that with the information that we're inputting into the system is critically important,” Skarb said. “Having our internal notes and an official’s external messages in one place really gives the entire organization a 360-degree view of all those interactions that we're having with local officials and helps us be better prepared for those meetings that we are having.”

Log Meetings to Measure Value of Interactions

Skarb's team uses Quorum to share notes from meetings with officials at the local, state, and federal levels. Using Quorum mobile, team members quickly note who they met with, summarize what they discussed, note if follow-up is needed, and what the overall outcome and sentiment of the meeting was. Skarb’s team is spread across the entire state of California, making it difficult to unify messaging and strategy. Skarb’s entire team from the local through federal level shares access to the interaction logger, giving team members at all levels a 360-degree view of how every team member interacts with key stakeholders.[callout align="right" heading="Your team should log interactions" button_text="10 reasons why" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/blog/why-log-meetings-with-stakeholders/"] “Not only do you have it in real-time, but your entire team has it in real-time,” Skarb said. “When my team has a meeting with somebody at the local level, the district manager that serves the area gets an automatic notification that the meeting occurred. Similarly, if a district manager has a meeting with a local stakeholder, my team gets an automatic alert that the meeting occurred. This keeps everybody on the same page, as opposed to risking everybody getting their wires crossed.”

Use Dashboards to Quickly Evaluate Community Affairs Efforts

Skarb’s team uses Quorum dashboards to stay organized and informed on every aspect of Cal Water’s community affairs efforts — from federal, state, and local legislative tracking to relationship development in each service area. Each dashboard focuses on a specific operation within the community affairs team:
  • Legislative tracking dashboard: Tracks legislation relevant to Cal Water’s issues at the federal, state, and local levels. This dashboard helps team members replicate strategies and share information to more efficiently target bills. This dashboard tracks:
    • Total number of key bills (federal, state & local)
    • Cal Water’s position on each bill
    • Number of bills introduced over time
    • Number of interactions Cal Water has on each key bill
    • List of enacted bills
  • Relationship dashboards: Each Cal Water service area has its own dashboard that tracks on a granular level the effectiveness of their community affairs efforts. Each service area dashboard includes:
    • List of elected officials within the service area, broken down by who they have and have not met with
    • Number of interactions per elected official
    • Graph of tone and sentiment of those interactions
    • Organizations outside of local government Cal Water meets with, within the service area
    • List of topics discussed in meetings
    • Recent feed of tweets by elected officials about water issues within the service area
    • Number of local meetings (i.e. - city council, board, or supervisor level meetings) attended by team members.
    • Open rate of emails sent through Quorum by team members to local elected officials.
With team members logging the who, what, and why for every meeting they have, Skarb then analyzes the quality of the interactions his team has to evaluate the overall effectiveness of his team at achieving their policy goals. Skarb shares these auto-updating dashboards with Cal Water’s executive leadership, allowing them to view Cal Water’s community affairs work in real-time. [post_title] => California Water Service Unifies Community Affairs Efforts with Quorum [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => california-water-service-community-affairs-quorum [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-09-24 17:24:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-09-24 17:24:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=5649 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [queried_object_id] => 5649 [request] => SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.post_name = 'california-water-service-community-affairs-quorum' AND wp_posts.post_type = 'resources' ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC [posts] => Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5649 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2021-09-23 18:32:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-09-23 18:32:05 [post_content] =>

Challenge: Coordinate Community Affairs Across California

California Water Service, or Cal Water, is the largest private water utility provider in the state of California, serving more than 2 million residents from Chico in the north down to the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the south. With 25 service areas across the state, it serves 110 diverse communities, cities, and counties. To engage with public officials in these communities and track policy issues relevant to Cal Water at the federal, state, and local level, Justin Skarb, Director of Community Affairs, was using six different software platforms, each meeting a different need of Cal Water’s community affairs operation:
  1. Federal legislative tracking
  2. State legislative tracking
  3. Local agenda tracking
  4. Interaction logging
  5. Legislative contact information
  6. Public official social media tracking
“It just was not efficient and gets relatively expensive with all those different platforms.” Skarb said, “You never really become an expert on any one platform because you're not spending as much time there as you are elsewhere and everybody sets up their databases somewhat differently. Being able to have all that information in one place makes it easier from an administrative standpoint,” Using six different platforms created a learning and administrative challenge in keeping track of each system. Skarb and Cal Water’s community affairs team, along with local district managers spread across the state, wanted to more cohesively and proactively engage on their policy portfolio.

Solution: One Integrated System Allows for 360 Degree View of Community Affairs Efforts

Skarb turned to Quorum to replace the six platforms his team previously used to track legislation, log interactions with officials, communicate with stakeholders, and track social media dialogue on their issue priorities all in one place.

Scan Local Agenda Postings for Key Issues to Identify Which Meetings to Attend

As a multi-district utility provider, Cal Water uses Quorum to track the issues they care about as well as mentions of those issues in each service area’s local government agendas. Instead of manually sorting through local agendas as they are posted to identify which meetings district managers need to attend, Quorum Local scans each agenda as it’s posted for the keywords Skarb’s team tracks and notifies everyone — from Cal Water headquarters down to local district managers, where conversations and decisions will happen on key issues. By automating their issue tracking, Skarb and his team can rededicate their time back to building relationships with key legislators by scheduling more meetings. “The ability to track various issue areas allows us to use Quorum as an early warning system,” Skarb said. “For example — have we seen an uptick in the number of meetings that focus on the cost of water service? If we did have that, we would have an early warning that signals the community is getting upset about water rates. That’s an important thing to track.” Cal Water uses this same process to get alerts on state and federal bills and committee hearings to track legislation on their issues at all levels.

Analyze Public Official’s Social Media Dialogue to Gain Insight on Their Stance

To prepare for a meeting, team members use Quorum to read through elected officials’ social media posts to filter for any posts that mention Cal Water or Cal Water’s issue priorities.[callout align="left" heading="Turn social media dialogue into actionable government relations strategy" button_text="Learn how" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/blog/social-media-government-relations-strategy/"] Tracking social media offers insight into what's top of mind for legislators and how Cal Water’s issues are perceived by the public officials they’re meeting with. These insights allow Skarb’s team to brief themselves on an official’s stance and gauge an official’s opinion on Cal Water’s issues ahead of a meeting. “Tracking that information we're getting from outside sources and being able to couple that with the information that we're inputting into the system is critically important,” Skarb said. “Having our internal notes and an official’s external messages in one place really gives the entire organization a 360-degree view of all those interactions that we're having with local officials and helps us be better prepared for those meetings that we are having.”

Log Meetings to Measure Value of Interactions

Skarb's team uses Quorum to share notes from meetings with officials at the local, state, and federal levels. Using Quorum mobile, team members quickly note who they met with, summarize what they discussed, note if follow-up is needed, and what the overall outcome and sentiment of the meeting was. Skarb’s team is spread across the entire state of California, making it difficult to unify messaging and strategy. Skarb’s entire team from the local through federal level shares access to the interaction logger, giving team members at all levels a 360-degree view of how every team member interacts with key stakeholders.[callout align="right" heading="Your team should log interactions" button_text="10 reasons why" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/blog/why-log-meetings-with-stakeholders/"] “Not only do you have it in real-time, but your entire team has it in real-time,” Skarb said. “When my team has a meeting with somebody at the local level, the district manager that serves the area gets an automatic notification that the meeting occurred. Similarly, if a district manager has a meeting with a local stakeholder, my team gets an automatic alert that the meeting occurred. This keeps everybody on the same page, as opposed to risking everybody getting their wires crossed.”

Use Dashboards to Quickly Evaluate Community Affairs Efforts

Skarb’s team uses Quorum dashboards to stay organized and informed on every aspect of Cal Water’s community affairs efforts — from federal, state, and local legislative tracking to relationship development in each service area. Each dashboard focuses on a specific operation within the community affairs team:
  • Legislative tracking dashboard: Tracks legislation relevant to Cal Water’s issues at the federal, state, and local levels. This dashboard helps team members replicate strategies and share information to more efficiently target bills. This dashboard tracks:
    • Total number of key bills (federal, state & local)
    • Cal Water’s position on each bill
    • Number of bills introduced over time
    • Number of interactions Cal Water has on each key bill
    • List of enacted bills
  • Relationship dashboards: Each Cal Water service area has its own dashboard that tracks on a granular level the effectiveness of their community affairs efforts. Each service area dashboard includes:
    • List of elected officials within the service area, broken down by who they have and have not met with
    • Number of interactions per elected official
    • Graph of tone and sentiment of those interactions
    • Organizations outside of local government Cal Water meets with, within the service area
    • List of topics discussed in meetings
    • Recent feed of tweets by elected officials about water issues within the service area
    • Number of local meetings (i.e. - city council, board, or supervisor level meetings) attended by team members.
    • Open rate of emails sent through Quorum by team members to local elected officials.
With team members logging the who, what, and why for every meeting they have, Skarb then analyzes the quality of the interactions his team has to evaluate the overall effectiveness of his team at achieving their policy goals. Skarb shares these auto-updating dashboards with Cal Water’s executive leadership, allowing them to view Cal Water’s community affairs work in real-time. [post_title] => California Water Service Unifies Community Affairs Efforts with Quorum [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => california-water-service-community-affairs-quorum [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-09-24 17:24:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-09-24 17:24:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=5649 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 1 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5649 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2021-09-23 18:32:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-09-23 18:32:05 [post_content] =>

Challenge: Coordinate Community Affairs Across California

California Water Service, or Cal Water, is the largest private water utility provider in the state of California, serving more than 2 million residents from Chico in the north down to the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the south. With 25 service areas across the state, it serves 110 diverse communities, cities, and counties. To engage with public officials in these communities and track policy issues relevant to Cal Water at the federal, state, and local level, Justin Skarb, Director of Community Affairs, was using six different software platforms, each meeting a different need of Cal Water’s community affairs operation:
  1. Federal legislative tracking
  2. State legislative tracking
  3. Local agenda tracking
  4. Interaction logging
  5. Legislative contact information
  6. Public official social media tracking
“It just was not efficient and gets relatively expensive with all those different platforms.” Skarb said, “You never really become an expert on any one platform because you're not spending as much time there as you are elsewhere and everybody sets up their databases somewhat differently. Being able to have all that information in one place makes it easier from an administrative standpoint,” Using six different platforms created a learning and administrative challenge in keeping track of each system. Skarb and Cal Water’s community affairs team, along with local district managers spread across the state, wanted to more cohesively and proactively engage on their policy portfolio.

Solution: One Integrated System Allows for 360 Degree View of Community Affairs Efforts

Skarb turned to Quorum to replace the six platforms his team previously used to track legislation, log interactions with officials, communicate with stakeholders, and track social media dialogue on their issue priorities all in one place.

Scan Local Agenda Postings for Key Issues to Identify Which Meetings to Attend

As a multi-district utility provider, Cal Water uses Quorum to track the issues they care about as well as mentions of those issues in each service area’s local government agendas. Instead of manually sorting through local agendas as they are posted to identify which meetings district managers need to attend, Quorum Local scans each agenda as it’s posted for the keywords Skarb’s team tracks and notifies everyone — from Cal Water headquarters down to local district managers, where conversations and decisions will happen on key issues. By automating their issue tracking, Skarb and his team can rededicate their time back to building relationships with key legislators by scheduling more meetings. “The ability to track various issue areas allows us to use Quorum as an early warning system,” Skarb said. “For example — have we seen an uptick in the number of meetings that focus on the cost of water service? If we did have that, we would have an early warning that signals the community is getting upset about water rates. That’s an important thing to track.” Cal Water uses this same process to get alerts on state and federal bills and committee hearings to track legislation on their issues at all levels.

Analyze Public Official’s Social Media Dialogue to Gain Insight on Their Stance

To prepare for a meeting, team members use Quorum to read through elected officials’ social media posts to filter for any posts that mention Cal Water or Cal Water’s issue priorities.[callout align="left" heading="Turn social media dialogue into actionable government relations strategy" button_text="Learn how" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/blog/social-media-government-relations-strategy/"] Tracking social media offers insight into what's top of mind for legislators and how Cal Water’s issues are perceived by the public officials they’re meeting with. These insights allow Skarb’s team to brief themselves on an official’s stance and gauge an official’s opinion on Cal Water’s issues ahead of a meeting. “Tracking that information we're getting from outside sources and being able to couple that with the information that we're inputting into the system is critically important,” Skarb said. “Having our internal notes and an official’s external messages in one place really gives the entire organization a 360-degree view of all those interactions that we're having with local officials and helps us be better prepared for those meetings that we are having.”

Log Meetings to Measure Value of Interactions

Skarb's team uses Quorum to share notes from meetings with officials at the local, state, and federal levels. Using Quorum mobile, team members quickly note who they met with, summarize what they discussed, note if follow-up is needed, and what the overall outcome and sentiment of the meeting was. Skarb’s team is spread across the entire state of California, making it difficult to unify messaging and strategy. Skarb’s entire team from the local through federal level shares access to the interaction logger, giving team members at all levels a 360-degree view of how every team member interacts with key stakeholders.[callout align="right" heading="Your team should log interactions" button_text="10 reasons why" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/blog/why-log-meetings-with-stakeholders/"] “Not only do you have it in real-time, but your entire team has it in real-time,” Skarb said. “When my team has a meeting with somebody at the local level, the district manager that serves the area gets an automatic notification that the meeting occurred. Similarly, if a district manager has a meeting with a local stakeholder, my team gets an automatic alert that the meeting occurred. This keeps everybody on the same page, as opposed to risking everybody getting their wires crossed.”

Use Dashboards to Quickly Evaluate Community Affairs Efforts

Skarb’s team uses Quorum dashboards to stay organized and informed on every aspect of Cal Water’s community affairs efforts — from federal, state, and local legislative tracking to relationship development in each service area. Each dashboard focuses on a specific operation within the community affairs team:
  • Legislative tracking dashboard: Tracks legislation relevant to Cal Water’s issues at the federal, state, and local levels. This dashboard helps team members replicate strategies and share information to more efficiently target bills. This dashboard tracks:
    • Total number of key bills (federal, state & local)
    • Cal Water’s position on each bill
    • Number of bills introduced over time
    • Number of interactions Cal Water has on each key bill
    • List of enacted bills
  • Relationship dashboards: Each Cal Water service area has its own dashboard that tracks on a granular level the effectiveness of their community affairs efforts. Each service area dashboard includes:
    • List of elected officials within the service area, broken down by who they have and have not met with
    • Number of interactions per elected official
    • Graph of tone and sentiment of those interactions
    • Organizations outside of local government Cal Water meets with, within the service area
    • List of topics discussed in meetings
    • Recent feed of tweets by elected officials about water issues within the service area
    • Number of local meetings (i.e. - city council, board, or supervisor level meetings) attended by team members.
    • Open rate of emails sent through Quorum by team members to local elected officials.
With team members logging the who, what, and why for every meeting they have, Skarb then analyzes the quality of the interactions his team has to evaluate the overall effectiveness of his team at achieving their policy goals. Skarb shares these auto-updating dashboards with Cal Water’s executive leadership, allowing them to view Cal Water’s community affairs work in real-time. [post_title] => California Water Service Unifies Community Affairs Efforts with Quorum [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => california-water-service-community-affairs-quorum [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-09-24 17:24:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-09-24 17:24:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=5649 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 1 [max_num_pages] => 0 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => 1 [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => 1 [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => aeadada43eeaf42aabfe312c10a09b36 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )
!!! 5649
Case Study

California Water Service Unifies Community Affairs Efforts with Quorum

California Water Service Unifies Community Affairs Efforts with Quorum

Challenge: Coordinate Community Affairs Across California

California Water Service, or Cal Water, is the largest private water utility provider in the state of California, serving more than 2 million residents from Chico in the north down to the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the south. With 25 service areas across the state, it serves 110 diverse communities, cities, and counties. To engage with public officials in these communities and track policy issues relevant to Cal Water at the federal, state, and local level, Justin Skarb, Director of Community Affairs, was using six different software platforms, each meeting a different need of Cal Water’s community affairs operation:

  1. Federal legislative tracking
  2. State legislative tracking
  3. Local agenda tracking
  4. Interaction logging
  5. Legislative contact information
  6. Public official social media tracking

“It just was not efficient and gets relatively expensive with all those different platforms.” Skarb said, “You never really become an expert on any one platform because you’re not spending as much time there as you are elsewhere and everybody sets up their databases somewhat differently. Being able to have all that information in one place makes it easier from an administrative standpoint,”

Using six different platforms created a learning and administrative challenge in keeping track of each system. Skarb and Cal Water’s community affairs team, along with local district managers spread across the state, wanted to more cohesively and proactively engage on their policy portfolio.

Solution: One Integrated System Allows for 360 Degree View of Community Affairs Efforts

Skarb turned to Quorum to replace the six platforms his team previously used to track legislation, log interactions with officials, communicate with stakeholders, and track social media dialogue on their issue priorities all in one place.

Scan Local Agenda Postings for Key Issues to Identify Which Meetings to Attend

As a multi-district utility provider, Cal Water uses Quorum to track the issues they care about as well as mentions of those issues in each service area’s local government agendas. Instead of manually sorting through local agendas as they are posted to identify which meetings district managers need to attend, Quorum Local scans each agenda as it’s posted for the keywords Skarb’s team tracks and notifies everyone — from Cal Water headquarters down to local district managers, where conversations and decisions will happen on key issues. By automating their issue tracking, Skarb and his team can rededicate their time back to building relationships with key legislators by scheduling more meetings.

“The ability to track various issue areas allows us to use Quorum as an early warning system,” Skarb said. “For example — have we seen an uptick in the number of meetings that focus on the cost of water service? If we did have that, we would have an early warning that signals the community is getting upset about water rates. That’s an important thing to track.”

Cal Water uses this same process to get alerts on state and federal bills and committee hearings to track legislation on their issues at all levels.

Analyze Public Official’s Social Media Dialogue to Gain Insight on Their Stance

To prepare for a meeting, team members use Quorum to read through elected officials’ social media posts to filter for any posts that mention Cal Water or Cal Water’s issue priorities.

Tracking social media offers insight into what’s top of mind for legislators and how Cal Water’s issues are perceived by the public officials they’re meeting with. These insights allow Skarb’s team to brief themselves on an official’s stance and gauge an official’s opinion on Cal Water’s issues ahead of a meeting.

“Tracking that information we’re getting from outside sources and being able to couple that with the information that we’re inputting into the system is critically important,” Skarb said. “Having our internal notes and an official’s external messages in one place really gives the entire organization a 360-degree view of all those interactions that we’re having with local officials and helps us be better prepared for those meetings that we are having.”

Log Meetings to Measure Value of Interactions

Skarb’s team uses Quorum to share notes from meetings with officials at the local, state, and federal levels. Using Quorum mobile, team members quickly note who they met with, summarize what they discussed, note if follow-up is needed, and what the overall outcome and sentiment of the meeting was. Skarb’s team is spread across the entire state of California, making it difficult to unify messaging and strategy. Skarb’s entire team from the local through federal level shares access to the interaction logger, giving team members at all levels a 360-degree view of how every team member interacts with key stakeholders.

“Not only do you have it in real-time, but your entire team has it in real-time,” Skarb said. “When my team has a meeting with somebody at the local level, the district manager that serves the area gets an automatic notification that the meeting occurred. Similarly, if a district manager has a meeting with a local stakeholder, my team gets an automatic alert that the meeting occurred. This keeps everybody on the same page, as opposed to risking everybody getting their wires crossed.”

Use Dashboards to Quickly Evaluate Community Affairs Efforts

Skarb’s team uses Quorum dashboards to stay organized and informed on every aspect of Cal Water’s community affairs efforts — from federal, state, and local legislative tracking to relationship development in each service area. Each dashboard focuses on a specific operation within the community affairs team:

  • Legislative tracking dashboard: Tracks legislation relevant to Cal Water’s issues at the federal, state, and local levels. This dashboard helps team members replicate strategies and share information to more efficiently target bills. This dashboard tracks:
    • Total number of key bills (federal, state & local)
    • Cal Water’s position on each bill
    • Number of bills introduced over time
    • Number of interactions Cal Water has on each key bill
    • List of enacted bills
  • Relationship dashboards: Each Cal Water service area has its own dashboard that tracks on a granular level the effectiveness of their community affairs efforts. Each service area dashboard includes:
    • List of elected officials within the service area, broken down by who they have and have not met with
    • Number of interactions per elected official
    • Graph of tone and sentiment of those interactions
    • Organizations outside of local government Cal Water meets with, within the service area
    • List of topics discussed in meetings
    • Recent feed of tweets by elected officials about water issues within the service area
    • Number of local meetings (i.e. – city council, board, or supervisor level meetings) attended by team members.
    • Open rate of emails sent through Quorum by team members to local elected officials.

With team members logging the who, what, and why for every meeting they have, Skarb then analyzes the quality of the interactions his team has to evaluate the overall effectiveness of his team at achieving their policy goals.

Skarb shares these auto-updating dashboards with Cal Water’s executive leadership, allowing them to view Cal Water’s community affairs work in real-time.

“Being able to show we had this number of meetings last year with a wide number of decision-makers and stakeholders and the overall tone of those meetings was positive. Consolidating all this in one place and being able to report out on these things is the most important.”
Justin Skarb, Director of Community Affairs at California Water Service

Impact: Measure and Report Out On Progress in One Place

As a utility provider, efficiency is Cal Water’s bread and butter. Working within one system gives Skarb a 360-degree view evaluation of Cal Water’s community affairs progress at any given time.

“What we’ve seen is a marked improvement in our ability to track those meetings and actually know who we are meeting with,” Skarb said. “Previously, if I went to my team and asked for a list of all the elected officials we haven’t met within the last year, that list would probably be impossible to put together.”

Moving all aspects of Cal Water’s community affairs operation — managing key issues, logging interactions, tracking dialogue, agendas, and legislation streamlined the entire team’s workflow processes, allowing every level of the Cal Water team from executive to local managers to stay on the same page.

Learn what Quorum can do for your community affairs team