Gifts for Energy Communicators: Our Best-Read Content from 2019
EEC Perspectives gained dozens of new subscribers this year, many of them in the last few weeks after I hit the conference circuit. For that reason, and others, we’re re-gifting our best-read content from 2019. You don’t have to wait until December 25 to unwrap these presents!
DEREK JETER’S OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD TUTORIAL ON MESSAGING
It’s cold outside and it’s snowing in some places. Major League Baseball’s 2019 season ended weeks ago and we’re months away from the start of the 2020 season. But Derek Jeter, former New York Yankees shortstop, showed us what other-worldly messaging looked like in his tribute to former teammate Mariano Rivera, who was unanimously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year.
You don’t have to be a baseball fan to recognize the artistry and impact behind Jeter’s messaging about Rivera, the best closing pitcher in baseball history. Read all about it here.
YOUR CRISIS WILL SEE YOU NOW — ARE YOU READY?
Content on crisis communications consistently drew a lot of eyeballs in 2019. Hardly a surprise, given the crises that have hit energy companies, from Columbia Gas of Massachusetts to PG&E to the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power to the Philadelphia oil refiner that caught fire and exploded to the Houston petrochemical plant that caught fire and exploded.
One of our best-read pieces on crisis communications featured a consultant from PwC (formerly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers) who discussed how crises could make companies stronger. The flip side, of course, is that companies that lacked certain essential ingredients in their organizational DNA could be destroyed by a crisis. Read more about it here.
HERE’S HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR BRAND DOESN’T SUCK
The recent past offered no shortage of reminders about the critical importance of branding for energy companies. Energy companies that deliver on brand attributes that resonate with their target audience find they have a safety net under them to cushion their fall or shorten their recovery time after a reversal.
Think about the world’s most successful marketers, like Apple, Amazon, Starbucks or Coca Cola. When you say their names, specific and unique attributes come to mind. Is that true for your company? Energy communicators sometimes get too caught up with internally focused operational metrics as proxies for their brand. Your brand lives in the customer’s mind. Your job is to manage it. Read all about it here.
WHY BEN FRANKLIN ADVISED AGAINST GOSSIP
Leaking can be such good fun — unless it’s about you! Ben Franklin long ago warned, “those who gossip with you also gossip about you.”
Ours is an information economy, and that’s particularly true with energy companies. What you know and when you know it can be the difference between success and failure.
But while the professional leaders inside Washington, D.C. have some means to police their leaks, you and I lack that power. So, don’t do it! Read more about it here.
WHY DID OUR EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT PROJECT CRASH AND BURN?
As is often the case, the cartoon strip Dilbert reflects the tragedies, large and small, that afflict Corporate America and those who work there. That includes energy companies, of course.
In 2019, as in 2018 and 2017 and even before, many energy companies launched employee engagement initiatives, sometimes using lofty titles like “corporate values alignment.” Many, if not most, will fail, if they have not already failed. Why? Lack of authenticity is one reason. Lack of executive commitment is another. See below.
There’s no single approach to winning your employees’ heart and minds. But authenticity and communication are two must-have ingredients if your company hopes to win the war for talent. Read about it here.
While we hope your Christmas stocking will be stuffed with presents and candy, not coal, our more important hope is that you find these pieces, and other content on the website, to be useful in your work.
See you in 2020!