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Whoever Thought a CCR Could be so Cool?

Each year, water utilities all over the U.S. have to prepare and distribute Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR) to their customers. Usually these documents are sent out as two or three page sheets of tiny text filled with standard, required language reporting on water sources and chemicals found in drinking water. My guess is most Americans receive these, glance at all that tiny text, then toss it into the garbage.

A few years ago, Jay Socol, public information officer for the city of Bryan, Texas, decided to break out of the standard practice of sending out a boring CCR and create something that rocked. The city started producing calendars showcasing workers in their water system. The mandated CCR language was included in those calendars, but now it looked awesome and definitely a lot more interesting.City of Bryan, Texas 2006 Consumer Confidence Report Calendar

These calendars were recently highlighted in Kathy Sierra’s presentation at Gov 2.0 Expo as an example of how to create passion for something. If a city can transform a simple CCR into something that leaves a positive and lasting impression on someone, what else can government do to light the fire of passion in citizens?

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Kristy Dalton

I remember mailing out those boring CCRs to residents when I was deputy clerk for a small town in Illinois. I love the City of Bryan’s comic book style approach.