Utility Communications and Marketing Tips from the Trenches

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Roughly 60% of subscribers to EEC Perspectives are women, and many of them are in a relatively early stage of their careers. For that reason, we asked three women at NorthWestern Energy to share their views on skill sets and career paths in communications and marketing within a utility, internships, innovative approaches to organizational design, and communicating during a pandemic. … Read More

Three Steps to Writing Better Annual Reports

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Congratulations! You have won the departmental lottery and now get to write this year’s annual report. Don’t panic! When confronting the (potential) enormity of the task before you, remember the timeless advice shared by practitioners of long-format writing: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” All kidding aside, you have a big task, with plenty of … Read More

Employee Engagement: Guest Blog on Ways to Improve It

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Employee engagement continues to be a high-interest topic among our readers. As a more contagious and deadly variant of COVID-19 emerges, utilities and energy companies are trying to decide when office workers will return to the office, and under what conditions. What work policies need to be updated? How shall we perform work going forward? Will our organizational culture help, … Read More

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

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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

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

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