Podcasts: The Next Step in Utility DIY Content

We are living in (or perhaps through?) a golden age of “do it yourself” (DIY) digital content. There are innumerable TikTok and YouTube personalities opining on, filming, and doing just about anything imaginable…

Quick Hits and Short Takes: Value, Culture, and Stories

It’s been an extremely rainy 2023 here in Denver: In the first six months of this year, we got more rain than we typically get in an average year. When I speak to my friends from the Pacific Northwest, I tell them we have had their weather and we’d like to send it back…

How Utilities Can Combat Quiet Quitting

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to recede into the rear-view mirror, a new management challenge — employees who are “quiet quitting” —– has emerged. It’s not entirely a new phenomenon: in earlier times, workers who performed at a minimally acceptable level were deemed to be “mailing it in.”..

The VERY First Step to Writing a Better Annual Report

Successful writers start by thinking about their audience. Stephen King doesn’t write for the same audience that reads Jodi Picoult or Philippa Gregory. That’s not a dis on any of those oft-published, fabulously successful fiction writers. But it is a restatement of the First Commandment of Writing: Know thy audience!

Sky-High Energy Bills: Utilities Need New Actions and a New Narrative

Do you remember this painting? Prints of it have adorned college dorm rooms for decades. It’s Salvador Dali’s “Persistence of Memory.” I wasn’t an Art History major, so I’m not sure exactly what the melting clocks are supposed to signify. But the fact I remember it decades after I took it off my own dorm wall attests to the truth of the painting’s title at least.

How to Keep Your Utility Brand from Becoming Toxic

Whether your company delivers electricity or natural gas, your customers’ bills have shot up, which damages your utility’s brand. Analytically, we all understand why bills have shot up: Natural gas costs have skyrocketed. Colder weather has driven up customer usage. Inflation. Supply chain. The costs of building out or replacing your infrastructure. Heck, even water […]

A Few Thoughts on Fear, Gas Stoves, and Freedom

“Are Your Gas Appliances Killing You?” That’s the way I began a piece of marketing collateral I wrote, well, back in the waning years of the 20th century. Back then, I worked in marketing for an electric utility, Salt River Project, and we were having our lunch eaten by a natural gas utility, Southwest Gas, […]

2023 Resolutions: Lose Weight, Exercise More, Ban Buzzwords

“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance,” goes the old saying, “baffle them with bulls***.” A scan of almost any business communication — printed material, email, job descriptions, even social media — shows an undue reliance on buzzwords, AKA bulls***. Photo Credit: LinkedIn People use buzzwords to sound important, blur meaning, or simply navigate a […]