Utility Customer Messaging: Leaders Go First

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My town, like many in the West, faces an ongoing imbalance in water, where demand exceeds supply. Going into the summer of 2021, the water conditions in Lafayette, Colorado, a Denver suburb, are not nearly as bad as they are in California, Arizona, or even other parts of Colorado, but they are sub-optimal. Lafayette’s “Leaders Go First” Message In late … Read More

Storytelling: Show, Don’t Tell (!) in Your Utility Communications

AdminBlog, Creative, Effective, Utility Communications1 Comment

Utility communicators looking to boost their storytelling skills might want to check out eulogies. Not trying to be morbid here, but the best eulogies offer a master class in storytelling. Earlier this year, as you may know, there was a mass shooting in a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, about 10 miles from EEC’s office. Ten people were killed, including … Read More

Utility Rate Case Communications: Do It Right

AdminBlog, Customer, Effective, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility Marketing, Utility Rate Case Communications, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Among policymakers, there’s a lot more talk about energy infrastructure these days, following the catastrophic Texas power blackouts and the Biden administration’s $2.25-trillion infrastructure plan. That means rate cases and rate case communications. U.S. electric utilities invested about $40 billion to build new transmission projects in 2019, a sharp increase over earlier years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration … Read More

Repetition, the Secret Sauce of Message Discipline

AdminBlog, Effective, Messaging, Utility Communications1 Comment

One of the cornerstones of effective communications, a former presidential adviser once said, is message discipline: “Right about the time the communications staff is about to throw up from repeating the same message,” he said, “the public begins to hear it.” Who said it? Was it David Gergen? Karl Rove? My efforts to track down that quote have proven fruitless. … Read More

New Year’s Resolution: Ban Buzzwords!

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Credit: iStock Take a look at that wall of Post-it notes. How many of those buzzwords and meaningless phrases have crept into your vocabulary (and hence your writing)? I will own up to using a few of those phrases, including “client facing,” “business-to-business” and “integrated.” But I have never “basted the turkey,” “boiled the ocean” or “eaten dogfood,” mine or … Read More

Gifts for Energy Communicators: Our Best-Read Content from 2020

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Gifts for Energy Communicators: Our Best-Read Content from 2020 We’re finally winding down a year like no other. Nearly all of our workplaces, if not our lives, were roiled by the COVID-19 pandemic. A record number of hurricanes hit the U.S., mainly along the Gulf Coast, and another active wildfire season engulfed parts of California, the Pacific Northwest and Colorado. … Read More

Boost Your Marketing ROI with Hero’s Journey Storytelling

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When developing content to market customer programs, there are several options for energy company marketers and communicators. One approach is straightforward, fact-based and quantitative: “You will save about $250 per year if you enroll in this program.” Another is the lifestyle pitch: “You can shift your energy use to off-peak periods of the day and you won’t even notice it.” … Read More

Getting Outside Yourself: Customer Communications

AdminBlog, Customer, Customers, Utility Communications, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase, “Get over yourself” sometime in your life. Today I’m going to adapt that and say, when writing for customers or other external stakeholders, “Get outside yourself.” Years ago, when I was a communicator at an electric company, a communications consultant would pop in now and then to help us sharpen our messaging. More than a … Read More

Marketing Electric TOU Prices: The Time is Right

AdminBlog, Efficiency & Conservation, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility MarketingLeave a Comment

The proliferation of electric vehicles, rooftop solar and other strategic forces afoot in the industry are driving a growing number of electricity providers to implement, or investigate, time of use (TOU) pricing. For some, this is a big step. Many utilities have long offered only one price option: a flat per-kilowatt-hour price. Leaders considering offering TOU pricing may be wondering … Read More