YP Summit 2020 Recap

The 2020 YP Summit theme was “amping up our communication game.” The way we communicate within our organizations and with our customers is just as fundamental to our daily business as any other task or strategy we perform in the water industry. Erica Haide, Senior Marketing Coordinator at Brown and Caldwell (Portland), was one of our PNCWA YP representatives at the summit. She gave us her top takeaways from the summit below.


  • Communication is everything. Communication is part of literally everything we do and sometimes we totally forget that. What, how, and why we communicate is something we should keep at the forefront of our minds daily and integrate that into our approach in and outside of the workplace. Erin and Tom led an incredible session on communication and how all of it is important, even the parts that seem scary and not so easy. When you break it down, it’s not scary and it IS easy. We all have a purpose and more often than not, our purpose is at least somewhat aligned with others, including those we work and communicate with. I thought these messages were so important. As young professionals in the room, I think we sometimes forget that we too have a voice and we should be using it. As a marketer, I constantly sit in a room with other technical people who are much more senior than I; and understanding the other person’s purpose is so important for me because it allows me to understand where they are coming from, collaborate with one another, and communicate my purpose while understanding theirs.

  • Take the initiative, get marketing and communication professionals involved. It is awesome to see a number of communication attendees in the summit audience compared to last year. We still need more! Everyone has a voice and clearly the people in that room are ready to use it; it is our job to relay this passion and importance back to our communities and local industry markets. There are so many people at the summit who also work in the same office as communication and marketing employees, and it is our job to involve those people. Get them engaged, include them, and help them understand how important their skill sets are to this industry. Communication is needed now more than ever and that’s only going to continue as challenges arise. Use your purpose to help them see and embrace theirs.

  • It’s all about your audience. The H20 Duo said it best when their slide popped up with “AUDIENCE! AUDIENCE! AUDIENCE!”. Anyone can speak about any topic and tell any story, but if you don’t understand your audience, then, all of those words, stories and ideas might not resonate at all. We have to engage our audience, tell the story, and share the WHY. As a marketer in the industry, I get asked the question from a lot of other committees and groups of  “how can we engage more?” How can we bring more young professionals into this, how can we get more women on board, and how can we get more operators involved in this effort? The answer is easy when you stop thinking about why YOU are on board, and start thinking about who you are trying to connect with. Channel your efforts to your audience first. I would be surprised if improvements weren’t seen immediately.

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