Flavor of the Decade: What Energy Utilities Can Learn From Verizon

Egan EnergyBlog, Customer, Effective, Messaging, Utility Advertising, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Marketing1 Comment

Do you remember this guy? Sure you do. For nine years starting in 2001, Paul Marcarelli was the face and the voice Verizon used to break through a crowded telecommunications market and build its brand. Verizon built its brand around a model dressed as a slightly nerdy technician who always asked, “Can you hear me now?” In other words, Verizon … Read More

How Well Were You Prepared for Promised Land?

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Crisis, Customers, Effective, Messaging, Safety, Utility Advertising, Utility Communications, Utility Media Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Dodged a bullet. Whistled past the graveyard. Rolled the dice. Whatever metaphor you prefer, it looks like utility communicators will not get “fracked” by the fast-disappearing Matt Damon film, Promised Land. And that’s good, because it doesn’t appear that utility communicators invested a lot of time or effort preparing for the potential negative PR impact of that movie. Promised Land … Read More

Utility Communications: An Ounce of Prevention, or a Pound of Cure?

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Crisis, Customers, Effective, Employee, Utility Communications, Utility Leadership, Utility Media Relations, Utility Stakeholders, Value2 Comments

I hung up the phone, happy for my friend but sad about his company. It was not the first time I had this conversation, nor would it be the last. And they didn’t all go the same way. Sometimes I hung up the phone sad for my friend as well as his or her company. My friend is a communicator … Read More

“Medium Rare or Well Done?”

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Cost-Effective, Creative, Customer, Customers, Effective, Low-Cost, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Creativity Cuts Cost of Connecting with Utility Customers Utility communicators are under increased pressure to do more with less. That puts a premium on creativity. We’re all searching for the same Holy Grail: low-cost, high-impact ways to connect with customers. Two public-power utilities recently shared some very creative ideas to connect with customers. Perhaps their ideas can help you connect … Read More

Creating Customer-Friendly Utility Messages

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Creative, Customer, Customers, Effective, Messaging, Utility Advertising, Utility Communications, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Marketing, Utility Stakeholders, ValueLeave a Comment

Here’s an example of clear, customer-friendly messaging: it costs you $1.36 per year to charge your iPad. Note the simplicity and the customer-centeredness of the message. It doesn’t offer a range, and it doesn’t include a lot of qualifications about utility rates, iPad usage, or number of users in a household. It may—or may not—be accurate to the fourth decimal … Read More

Making Utility Ads Fun and Memorable

Egan EnergyBlog, Creative, Effective, Safety, Utility Advertising, Utility Communications, Utility Marketing3 Comments

You may not recognize the name of Professor Nathaniel Burke. But I’m pretty sure you’ve seen him and know who he is. And that tells us a lot about the future of utility advertising. Prof. Burke is not a utility mascot. He doesn’t teach at an Ivy League university. And I’m pretty sure he knows no more about electricity or … Read More

Who’s On Top—Shareholders or Stakeholders?

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Customers, Employees, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Leadership, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

A recent Washington Post article on the presidential race rekindled a long-simmering “shareholder vs. stakeholder” debate. How should profit-seeking businesses parcel out their time, energy, and money among competing constituencies like investors, employees, customers (including regulators), communities, suppliers and the like? Utility communicators, no less than presidential candidates, have decidedly different views about which group is the proverbial “first among … Read More

Energy PR — Forget Facts, Show Value!

Egan EnergyBlog, Creative, Customer, Customers, Effective, Efficiency & Conservation, Messaging, Programs & Services, Utility Communications, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Marketing, Utility Media Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Whatever utility communicators are selling these days, it doesn’t look like customers are buying. And we expect the problem will get worse before it gets better. A lot of utility communication plans are tied to rate cases, and utilities are filing a lot of rate cases these days. It looks like 100 or more rate cases will be filed across … Read More

5 Programs to Make Energy Real in Your Utility Communications

Egan EnergyBlog1 Comment

Lack of customer participation will kill at least one of your utility’s strategic initiatives. Perhaps it already has. But you can prevent the premature death of a strategic initiative by using these utility communications tips. Every interaction with customers is a communications opportunity. Utilities show what they value—positively and negatively—when they communicate with customers. That includes verbal communications, such as … Read More

Communications Breakdown: Xcel Energy’s Smart Grid Program

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Customer, Customers, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Leadership, Utility Marketing, Utility Media Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Will Poor Communications Destroy Xcel Energy’s Smart Grid Program? Some utilities are having trouble implementing Smart Grid or Smart Meter projects that rely on customers changing the way they use energy. Reaching customers and getting them to consider changing their behavior requires a long-term, integrated, campaign that includes customer communications, media relations, and public relations, among other tools. There are … Read More