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

Utility Communications: How to Stay Out of the “Smart-Talk” Trap

Egan EnergyBlog, Effective, Utility CommunicationsLeave a Comment

When was the last time you did a 540°? What hill are you willing to die on? Have you ever used “architect” as a verb? Do you have enough bandwidth to growth-hack the analytics? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have fallen into The Smart-Talk Trap. Some organizations reward people for sounding smart rather than … Read More

Crisis Communications: What’s Brewing Inside Your Utility?

Egan EnergyBlog, Crisis, Utility CommunicationsLeave a Comment

“Do you ever speak on utility crisis communications?” Barry Moline, executive director of the California Municipal Utilities Association, asked me in a recent phone call. I told him I did. He asked if I could speak on that topic at CMUA’s annual conference. I told Barry I would be delighted. Readers interested in my take on utility crisis communications can … Read More

Battling for Employees’ Hearts and Minds? Don’t Lead with “Reliable, Affordable and Safe”

Egan EnergyEmployee, Employee Communications, EmployeesLeave a Comment

Those words might have worked as a rallying cry 75 or 100 years ago, when the U.S. was electrifying (right). Back then, working in the electricity business was a leading-edge, change-the-world endeavor, like working in the space program was in the 1960s or the perennial search for a cure for cancer. But today, many utility employees need a more current, … Read More