Christmas is only a few weeks away. It’s always a special time in our home. I’ll never forget the Christmas Day years ago when our son Jack, then about age 6, bolted down the stairs and hurled himself at the presents under the tree. His expression was a mix of excitement (“Wow, there’s a ton of presents, I wonder how much of it is mine?”) and worry (“Please, no socks”).
Here at EEC, we honor the spirit of Christmas. But instead of lavishing our readers with gift cards, holiday sweaters or PlayStation 4s, we have chosen a humbler approach. This month, we’re regifting some of our most popular blog posts and Subscriber Exclusives of 2016. So take a break from shoveling snow, grab an eggnog, throw another log on the fire and take a look at what your peers at other utilities have been reading. It could make your life easier in 2017!
How Boulder is Redefining “Success”: The City of Boulder, Colorado, located 10 miles west of EEC, has been trying to leave Xcel Energy and launch its own distribution utility for many years. Within the electric industry, Boulder’s municipalization efforts have been widely followed, mainly because successful municipalizations are rare. Despite a wealth of talent and drive, Boulder has been losing more than it is winning at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and in the courts over the last year or so. With each new setback, the city has been redefining “success.” In other words, Boulder’s moving the goalposts. I’m beginning to wonder if the law, and Xcel’s deeper pockets, are starting to wear the city down. Although I still think Boulder could pull victory from the jaws of defeat, I don’t think that will happen. Click here if you missed this Subscriber Exclusive.
Communications Tip of the Month: The changes roiling the electric and gas businesses are forcing communicators to find new ways to create value for their companies. Resistance is futile but pain is optional. Find out what’s working and what’s not from your peers.
How a New Narrative Can Overcome Confirmation Bias: Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said or what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Confirmation bias is people’s tendency to remember facts (or even rumors) that confirm their existing viewpoint. Many customers don’t think particularly highly of their utilities, which blinds them to the good and innovative things many utilities are doing. But a new narrative can overcome confirmation bias, providing utilities follow a few simple rules. You can read all about it by clicking here for a copy of this Subscriber Exclusive.
Managing the Risks Insiders Pose to Utility Cybersecurity: The greatest threat to a utility’s digital and physical assets may be its employees and contractors. Communicators have a huge role to play in protecting their company’s cybersecurity. In this Subscriber Exclusive, we share the proactive steps one utility has taken to combat cyber criminals.
Bad Acts Create PR Problems: Communicators can save themselves oodles of time and stress if they recognize the internal signs that a PR crisis is brewing. If you can’t prevent it, find out what one of your peers did to clean up their utility’s reputation after the fit hit the shan. Also, check out our checklist for identifying a brewing crisis.
Six Tips to Get More Writing Done in the Office: Innumerable pieces of good writing have been killed or injured because the writer was distracted. Don’t become a statistic! A recent blog post contained six simple tips for cranking out more copy at the office. Throttling back your efforts to multitask is a big step in the right direction. Watching this video is another.
Our monthly website blog posts and Subscriber Exclusives are an easy way for us to stay in touch and let you know what’s on our radar screens here at EEC. We are truly grateful for your contributions, your indulgence and your interest in improving the effectiveness of your communications and marketing efforts. The changes roiling our industry create valuable opportunities to learn from your peers.
Now, let’s refresh that eggnog and judge this year’s ugly holiday sweater contest!