Changing Your Organization’s Culture One Minute at a Time

AdminEffective, Employee, Employee Communications, Employees, Organizational Culture, Utility LeadershipLeave a Comment

In last month’s blog, I discussed the wide gap between words and deeds among Colorado energy companies on the issue of stakeholder engagement, and how that disparity finally caught up with them in last year’s election. Sooner or later, I believe that same tendency to favor talk over action will hit providers of electricity. I’m talking about the critical role … Read More

Earning, and Keeping, Your Company’s Social License to Operate

AdminEffective, Utility Community Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

April 16, 2019 was the day that social license to operate (SLTO) became real for Colorado’s energy companies. That’s the date that Colorado’s governor signed into law Senate Bill 181, which is transforming the business environment for Colorado oil & gas companies. If you wanted to quibble, you could say the date SLTO became real was November 8, 2018, when … Read More

Environmental Communications: When Green is the New Black

AdminBlog, Efficiency & Conservation, Renewables, Utility Communications, Utility Marketing, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

In recent years, a growing number of electric utilities have added “sustainable” or “environmentally responsible” or “cleaner” to their longtime vision of providing electric service that is safe, affordable and reliable. That’s one part of their response to a shifting market. Even utilities operating in traditionally regulated monopoly markets, where there is no threat of losing customers to a competitor, … Read More

Media Relations: 10 Tips from Two Pros Part 1

AdminBlog, Crisis, Utility Communications, Utility Media RelationsLeave a Comment

Credit: iStock

The utility media relations function can help turn stakeholders into advocates, producing a wide range of benefits: lessened frictions, lowered costs, enhanced customer relations, increased customer satisfaction and improved brand equity. But when utility spokespersons have a tin ear or a heavy hand, they can create problems internally and externally: for executives, for customer service representatives, for legislative and regulatory … Read More

Build Your Safety Net Before You Need it

AdminBlog, Crisis, Effective, Utility CommunicationsLeave a Comment

Companies providing vital electric, gas and water services are always in the spotlight. In small communities, they’re often one of the largest employers. In large cities, they may not be the largest employer but often they are oversized targets for citizen complaints, regulatory investigations and enterprising reporters. And that’s on a good day, before a disaster or scandal hits. Unfortunately, … Read More

A Tutorial on Messaging from Derek Jeter

Egan EnergyBlog, MessagingLeave a Comment

To honor the start of another season of Major League Baseball, and my family’s impending visit to Tampa, Florida, to catch some New York Yankees spring training games, I thought I would start this month’s blog on messaging with a tribute to legendary Yankees closer Mariano Rivera from his teammate, the equally legendary Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (below). In January, … Read More

Telling Your Story: Smart Grid Communications

Egan EnergyBlog, 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

ICYMI: Regifting our Best-Read Content of 2018

Egan EnergyBlog, 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