Telling Your Story: Smart Grid Communications

AdminBlog, 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?

AdminBlog, 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

AdminBlog, 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

Organizational Change? Be Prepared to Communicate Until You are Blue in the Face

Egan EnergyBlog, EEC Industry Expertise, Utility LeadershipLeave a Comment

I’ve always loved the saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” I first heard it 20 years ago, in business school. Since then, I’ve been able to personally experience the truth of that statement, and I have spoken to innumerable people who have similarly experienced culture’s bite. Whether it’s a leadership change, a reorganization, a merger, a shift in strategy or … Read More

Utility Communications: How to Stay Out of the “Smart-Talk” Trap

Egan EnergyBlog, Effective, Utility CommunicationsLeave a Comment

When was the last time you did a 540°? What hill are you willing to die on? Have you ever used “architect” as a verb? Do you have enough bandwidth to growth-hack the analytics? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have fallen into The Smart-Talk Trap. Some organizations reward people for sounding smart rather than … Read More

Crisis Communications: What’s Brewing Inside Your Utility?

Egan EnergyBlog, Crisis, Utility CommunicationsLeave a Comment

“Do you ever speak on utility crisis communications?” Barry Moline, executive director of the California Municipal Utilities Association, asked me in a recent phone call. I told him I did. He asked if I could speak on that topic at CMUA’s annual conference. I told Barry I would be delighted. Readers interested in my take on utility crisis communications can … Read More

Utility Marketing: Cash on the Barrel or Cash Down the Drain?

Egan EnergyBlog, Efficiency & Conservation, Programs & Services, Utility MarketingLeave a Comment

Raise your hand if you think your utility marketing efforts are misguided. Yeah, that’s what I thought. But rather than call out your utility’s marketing team, a less-confrontational approach might be to consider third-party research. That’s what today’s post is all about. You’re not saying it, I am. For years and years, corporate checkbooks have played an outsized role in … Read More

Effective and SUCCESful Messaging for Utilities

Egan EnergyBlog, MessagingLeave a Comment

Our challenge as utility communicators comes down to two separate yet interconnected things: Messaging and Messenger. That’s the Alpha and Omega of communications. You need to craft a message your audience can grasp and you need to deliver it cost effectively. A great message can be undermined by a bad message-delivery choice. And even the best means of delivering a … Read More