EEC Perspectives

Build a Better Budget … with Market Intelligence from the EEC Survey

For Utility Communicators & Marketers Only!


survey-graphic-we-want-to-hear-from-you-compressorWe want to HEAR from you!

Earlier in my career, I prepared budgets for my utility’s media relations function. I had no independent, third-party information to know whether I was under-staffed, fully staffed or over-staffed compared to other utilities. Having that information would have helped me make a stronger budget case to executive management.

Credit: iStock

Credit: iStock

That’s one reason Egan Energy Communications has launched its second survey of utility communicators and marketers – we want our clients and colleagues to build their budgets and deploy their resources as effectively as possible. You have to start where you stand. You need high-quality, independent market intelligence.

Take the Survey Now.


Having this market intelligence is particularly critical in today’s fast-moving media market. For utilities, the consequences of under-investing in communications or marketing today are higher than ever. Reputational damage from a safety incident or scandal, or failing to explain why your prices are changing, carries long-lived impacts.

Maslansky on Messaging for Utility Communicators

Credit: iStock

Credit: iStock

Learning a new language scares me. I have tons of respect for anyone who can learn to speak another language. Me, I’ve had four unsuccessful efforts to learn another language: French in elementary school, Spanish in high school, Latin in high school and Arabic in graduate school. None of those forays ended well.

Whatever the language, I have been told the fastest way to master it (or decide it wasn’t for you) was to immerse yourself in that place. Go to Paris, Madrid or Cairo. If you can’t figure out how to say, “I’ll take three tomatoes and one eggplant” at the local market in the local language, you’ll go hungry that day. That’s a powerful incentive to learn a new language.

Michael Maslansky, chief executive at maslansky + partners, a New York-based language strategy firm, wants us to learn a new language. His firm was hired by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) to take a hard look at the words utility companies use to communicate.

Right now, we’ll have to stop. In our interview, Michael said “utility” is a word we should lose. It’s got too much baggage, most of it negative. “The public has a pretty consistent, negative association with the word, ‘utility,’ ” he told me recently. “These are companies that are investing in innovations that are critical to our future. But our market research has shown the public associates the term ‘utility’ with ‘big,’ ‘outdated’ and ‘monopolistic.’ They see the word, ‘utility’ as being more a part of the past than the future. It is a huge disconnect.”

Read more »

Writing in the Office: Six Tips for Utility Communicators


Credit: iStock

“How did you write that so fast?” a client asked after I rewrote something for him. Easy, I emailed back: no meetings! I inserted a smiley face emoticon to show how I felt about that. Hopefully I wasn’t rubbing it in.


Credit: iStock

Well, not having meetings certainly was part of it, but there were no interruptions either. No one dropped by for a quick chat. I wasn’t compulsively checking email or social media. I wasn’t listening to music. I had finished breakfast, and lunch was still two hours off. There was no popcorn aroma emanating from the break room to distract me.

I was fully caffeinated, so a coffee run was unnecessary. The phone wasn’t ringing. Our dog Callie didn’t need to be walked. There was no need to text anyone. I was not trying to capture any Pokémon.


Credit: iStock

In other words, there were no distractions. Actually, to be more precise, I did not allow myself to be distracted. I even turned my mobile device upside down, so I wouldn’t be distracted by its blinking blue light signaling a new message had arrived. I closed out my email so I wouldn’t be tempted to sneak a peek.

That got me thinking: Why is it so hard to write in the office? One reason is that writing doesn’t come easily to everyone, just like calculus doesn’t come easily to everyone. But another reason is there’s no solid time in the course of a work day. Utility communicators and marketers — managerial and non-managerial — spend a good bit of their working days in meetings, leaving less time for thinking, reflecting or drafting copy. Unfortunately, thinking, reflecting and drafting are essential precursors to good writing.

Read more »

Powered by P1P