Customer Outreach: You Reap What You Sow

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Ever wonder why some companies emerge from crises faster, with more of their reputation intact, while others die a death of a thousand cuts? The answer can be found in the adage, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” You can find all kinds of validation of that simple premise. Recently, I was reminded of it while writing an article … Read More

Repetition, the Secret Sauce of Message Discipline

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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

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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

How to Write a Press Release: Tips from Both Sides of the Laptop

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Millennials are not easily frightened. When stumped by a question or assigned a task they don’t know how to perform, they Google it. I am sure members of the Boomer, Gen X or Gen Y generations would have done the same thing, had Google existed in those far-off days. Members of those generations tended to learn by doing (unless you’re … Read More

Customer Satisfaction: Fixing Small Problems Before They Become Big Ones

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Denial, the old saying goes, ain’t just a river in Egypt. That rattling sound you hear when you drive your car? Ignore it — maybe it will go away. That pain in your back? Probably caused by sleeping in an awkward position last night. Feeling sluggish? Grab another cup of coffee. Sometimes it’s nothing, but other times we may be … Read More

Easing Anxieties and Meeting Needs: Communications Tips During COVID-19

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The COVID-19 pandemic has upended life across our society and economy. Energy-company communicators are scrambling to keep up with the changes that are roiling our lives each day. Doubtless some communicators are dismayed when they can’t find their crisis communications plan. Even worse would be a plan document that is outdated, filled with names of employees who retired years ago, … Read More