There are not many Twitter accounts that can make talking about sewer, water and all the unpleasant liquids and solids going through the sewer system entertaining, or even pleasant for that matter, but the team who runs the Twitter account of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is succeeding at making you give a crap about the things you flush.
The man behind the account and a small team who runs the account is John Gonzalez, communications manager for NEORSD.
The approach taken by Gonzalez and his team is bold and one that pushes the envelope yet aims to be effective in spreading the organization's mission to promote a greener and healthier Lake Erie.
While Browns fans experienced the agony of the team's defeat against the Buccaneers, Gonzalez pounced on the opportunity to make light of a stinky situation.
when you flush at a friends house and the water level keeps rising pic.twitter.com/VvfOMde6iG
— NE Oh Regional Sewer 🎃👻 (@neorsd) October 21, 2018
Whenever thinking about the next tweet to post, Gonzalez and his team realize not everyone necessarily cares about the inner workings of their sewer system, so it's up to them to make their mission relevant and entertaining.
"Relevance definitely matters. How can we be relevant to the conversation," said Gonzalez. "It's not easy getting people out of their worlds to come and learn about something we think is important. We would rather bring our information to the topic people are interested in."
This approach is evident in the numerous tweets sprinkled in the organization's feed.
This tweet portrays a scenario something many have experienced but dare to say out loud.
— NE Oh Regional Sewer 🎃👻 (@neorsd) October 23, 2018
The team has no boundaries on what it decides to make relevant to the average person. Gonzalez credits management with giving them the freedom to be creative and using a voice that is relatable to people in Northeast Ohio.
Take FEMA's presidential alert. The team decided to use it as their own PSA for how residents can royally mess up the sewer system. Their wittiness got them a mention by People.com
so hey how bout that presidential alert today wow pic.twitter.com/ze2t6Yp3Uu
— NE Oh Regional Sewer 🎃👻 (@neorsd) October 4, 2018
And if you do decide to be that idiotic person who throws wipes and other non-flushable down the drain, this is what will happen.
— joecimperman (@joecimperman) October 18, 2018
While Gonzalez admits they don't have a lot of followers, a humble and growing number just shy of 5,000, those who come across the feed are pleasantly surprised at the candid humor, something a public utility commission in San Francisco has found to be successful.
"People are surprised that when they are engaging with us. It's usually not what someone expects coming from a utility Twitter account," Gonzalez said. "Our mission is to protect our lake and water quality and if it means cracking a few jokes about poop, we are willing to do that because that's how people talk and are following so why not be a part of the conversation."
And another friendly reminder. You may be crying, but no excuse to clog the pipes with your emotions.
weekly #ThisIsUs reminder, tissues belong in the trash not the toilet after BAWLING YOUR EYES OUT
— NE Oh Regional Sewer 🎃👻 (@neorsd) October 10, 2018
For wittier and frank conversations about the things Clevelanders flush, visit their Twitter account here.