Environmental Communications: When Green is the New Black

AdminBlog, Efficiency & Conservation, Renewables, Utility Communications, Utility Marketing, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

In recent years, a growing number of electric utilities have added “sustainable” or “environmentally responsible” or “cleaner” to their longtime vision of providing electric service that is safe, affordable and reliable. That’s one part of their response to a shifting market. Even utilities operating in traditionally regulated monopoly markets, where there is no threat of losing customers to a competitor, … Read More

Media Relations: 10 Tips from Two Pros Part 2

AdminBlog, Utility Media RelationsLeave a Comment

This month’s blog post on media relations is a continuation of last month’s post, Media Relations: 10 Tips From Two Pros, Part 1, where we interviewed Jeff Lane and Randi Berris, media relations professionals for Salt River Project (SRP) and DTE Energy, respectively, for their tips on achieving media relations excellence. In that post, we listed the first five tips … Read More

Media Relations: 10 Tips from Two Pros Part 1

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Credit: iStock

The utility media relations function can help turn stakeholders into advocates, producing a wide range of benefits: lessened frictions, lowered costs, enhanced customer relations, increased customer satisfaction and improved brand equity. But when utility spokespersons have a tin ear or a heavy hand, they can create problems internally and externally: for executives, for customer service representatives, for legislative and regulatory … Read More

One More Time: Why Do Utilities Need a Brand?

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“Why do water utilities advertise?” my son Jack asked me the other day, more or less out of the blue. “I mean, it’s not like I have a lot of choice.” Since Jack doesn’t work in a utility marketing department, he’s not privy to internal discussions about a utility’s brand. I told him that he did have other options besides … Read More

Build Your Safety Net Before You Need it

AdminBlog, Crisis, Effective, Utility CommunicationsLeave a Comment

Companies providing vital electric, gas and water services are always in the spotlight. In small communities, they’re often one of the largest employers. In large cities, they may not be the largest employer but often they are oversized targets for citizen complaints, regulatory investigations and enterprising reporters. And that’s on a good day, before a disaster or scandal hits. Unfortunately, … Read More

A Tutorial on Messaging from Derek Jeter

Egan EnergyBlog, MessagingLeave a Comment

To honor the start of another season of Major League Baseball, and my family’s impending visit to Tampa, Florida, to catch some New York Yankees spring training games, I thought I would start this month’s blog on messaging with a tribute to legendary Yankees closer Mariano Rivera from his teammate, the equally legendary Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (below). In January, … Read More

Telling Your Story: Smart Grid Communications

Egan EnergyBlog, Customer, Effective, Messaging, Programs & Services, Utility Communications, Utility MarketingLeave a Comment

Every now and then I get a call from a client, a colleague or a prospective client about how to effectively communicate with the general public about a highly technical topic — nuclear power, price increases, advanced digital meters, strengthening the grid, and so on. Think About Your Audience Regardless of the specific topic, my recommendation is generally the same. … Read More

Speak Up! What Do You Stand For?

Egan EnergyBlog, Utility MarketingLeave a Comment

Two sayings — “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” and “an educated consumer is our best customer” — ran through my mind recently as I listened to a panel discussion at a conference organized by the American Public Power Association (APPA), of which I am an associate member. The panel focused on the need for publicly … Read More

ICYMI: Regifting our Best-Read Content of 2018

Egan EnergyBlog, EEC Client Services, Effective, Utility CommunicationsLeave a Comment

The holiday season is a time for utility communicators and marketers to reflect on the year’s accomplishments, spend time catching up on reading and begin planning next year’s activities. Our holiday present to you is a respin of our best-read content from 2018. Perhaps you had your head down finishing a project when some of these pieces arrived, and you … Read More

Gas Utility Needs Better Crisis Communications

Egan EnergyBlog, Crisis, Utility CommunicationsLeave a Comment

$800 million, and sure to go higher. That’s the cost, so far, for the gas utility responsible for a series of home explosions that occurred in three suburban Boston communities in September. Crisis Communications Playbook It doesn’t appear that Columbia Gas of Massachusetts read the crisis communications playbook or learned the lessons of the Tylenol poisonings from three decades ago. … Read More