Energy Communications Consultants: Selecting the Right One

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Utility communicators find themselves in a difficult place these days—the need to communicate more frequently on a broader range of topics with critical stakeholders yet having fewer communications “resources” – i.e., less staff and fewer dollars. Many utilities are turning to energy communications consultants to fill the gap between what needs to be done and what can be done with … Read More

Retirees: A Utility’s Secret Weapon in the Net Metering Battle

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Electric utilities across the country are getting PR black eyes on rooftop solar and net metering. The Washington Post, The New York Times and countless local news organizations have run articles on this national trend of homeowners putting solar panels on their rooftops. The controversy arises over net metering: what should homeowners pay to maintain the electric grid and preserve … Read More

The Most-Important, Most-Important Function in Your Utility

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The New York Yankees were deep into a mediocre season, so this summer I started binge-watching “Mad Men,” the drama about an advertising agency and its creative director, Don Draper, set in the 1960s. If you haven’t binge-watched that series, I highly recommend it – you get so much more out of a well-crafted show the second time around! Draper’s … Read More

Gas Prices Fell, Will Electric Prices Follow?

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I filled my car up with gasoline the other day, delighted that gas prices have fallen by about 50% in the last seven months. But that price collapse creates big problems for some utility communicators. Price increase communications was this year’s biggest challenge facing utility communicators and marketers, according to Budgets, Gadgets & Price Increases: EEC’s 2015 Survey of Utility … Read More

How to Win, and Keep, Your Seat at the Decision-Maker’s Table

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How to win, and keep, communicators’ and marketers’ seats at their utility’s decision-making table was discussed at several industry conferences I attended in 2014. I expect that will continue to be a top-of-mind issue in 2015. That’s why we visited that topic when EEC conducted its first annual survey of utility communicators and marketers. In Budgets, Gadgets & Price Increases, … Read More

The Care and Feeding of the News Media

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What do the news media want? Sigmund Freud spent a lot of time a century ago pondering a variant of that existential question – “What do women want?” Eventually, he concluded, it was best to ask them. And so it is with the news media, which many of us interact with on a daily basis. A lot of utility spokespeople … Read More

Digital Meter Communications: Speak to the Middle

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You know a topic has gone mainstream when it finds its way into a parody song by Weird Al Yankovic (left). Weird Al’s video, “Foil,” is a lighthearted take on conspiracy theorists, a small but colorful segment of our population sometimes referred to as people who wear tin-foil hats. You know who I’m talking about: the tiny segment of the … Read More

Persisting in the Face of Failure

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Our society is not really keen on failure. If we wanted to assign blame for this, we could point to Apollo 13, the movie about an ill-fated mission to the moon in 1970. Faced with a catastrophic equipment malfunction and the potential loss of a lunar spacecraft and three astronauts, Ed Harris’ NASA mission control character famously asserted, “Failure is … Read More

Public Speaking: If You Must Use PowerPoint…

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“The trouble with PowerPoint is, usually there’s no power and no point.” I’m not sure who said it first – the advertising executive I heard it from said it came from Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft, who many blame for unleashing a powerful tool on unsuspecting speakers and audiences everywhere. We have all heard snide references to “PowerPoint Hell” … Read More

Overcoming Email Immunity with Face-to-Face Communications

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Customers, Employees, Face-to-Face, Low-Cost, Utility Communications, Utility Marketing, Utility Stakeholders2 Comments

Earlier this summer I was delighted to speak at CONNECT ’14, an absolutely terrific event for electric cooperative communicators and marketers sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). The heightened importance of direct, face-to-face interaction with members was one of the takeaways of CONNECT ’14, held in San Antonio. And while the specifics of marketing and communicating with … Read More