Arianne Shipley and Stephanie Zavala launched their Fort Worth-based public communication company Rogue Water last fall. Photo courtesy of Rogue Water.
July 31, 2018
Two Tarrant County marketing consultants are making a splash in North Texas as experts in water education.
Best friends Stephanie Zavala and Arianne Shipley each had 10 years’ experience as public education specialists for municipal water utilities when they found themselves working together for the city of Mansfield in 2015.
Recognizing their shared creativity and passion about water topics, the two soon hatched an idea to start their own public communication consulting company. With a plan to market themselves to water utilities and environmental services, they took the plunge to launch Rogue Water in Fort Worth last fall. And so was born the H2du0.
“We loved the people with whom we worked, but felt it in our bones to look for something else,” says Zavala. “It was very scary/very hard, but we wanted to see what kind of impact we could make by working with utilities and water projects outside the course we were in, i.e., to see if we could change the ways/whys water companies communicate.”
Zavala said the two women’s passion for water and environmental education gave them the courage to go out on their own.
“If you don’t love what you’re doing and don’t have a passion for it, it’s going to be difficult to find mental strength to carry it out. We have been in the water field our entire career, and it’s something about which we love and are passionate. It’s all focused on our love for water.”
Zavala explains that water utilities and environmental services are sometimes difficult to communicate to people, because of the science and technology involved.
“It takes a lot of work to explain to people who don’t live in that environment or read about that topic regularly,” she said. “It’s difficult to get people to realize why they should care and what it has to do with them.”
They envision helping cities of various sizes - bringing fresh ideas to large cities with staff while filling a void in small cities, which typically don’t have anyone dedicated to outreach.
So far, Rogue Water’s clients have included a water utility company, a water district and a meter manufacturer. They have also worked with nonprofits through a Cause Agency.
“We have also worked with small business owners, but our passion and niche is in water, skills that are transferrable to groups like nonprofits and small businesses.”
Zavala said Rogue Water offers something unique - their experience as industry educators.
“We understand the way municipal government works and its challenges," said Zavala. "We come in with a basic understanding and the basics of water and waste water. You can hire any company to test but you don’t have to teach us. You don’t have to convince us of the value of water. We live it; we get it.”