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

The Simple, Enduring Truths of Crisis Communications

Egan EnergyCrisis, Utility CommunicationsLeave a Comment

Listening to Bruce Hennes’ talks on crisis communications for utilities, I was reminded of a long-ago quip attributed, as best as I could recall, to Pierre Salinger (right), former press secretary to President John F. Kennedy and a print and broadcast reporter. “The truth can be complicated,” I remember reading him saying. “Sometimes, it’s easier to lie.” He was reflecting, … Read More

Look Inward, Utility Communicators, to Prevent Your Next PR Crisis

Egan EnergyCrisis, Utility Communications4 Comments

Aaron Sorkin is an acquired taste. I get that. But whether you like your Hollywood honchos to be red-meat Republicans, like Clint Eastwood, or dyed in the (blue) wool Democrats like Sorkin, you can’t help but admire Sorkin’s rare talent. “A Few Good Men,” starring Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise and Demi Moore, was his first paying gig as a screenwriter. … 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

Can Utilities Find a Path to Peace?

Egan EnergyCrisis, Utility Communications, Utility Customer SatisfactionLeave a Comment

Most utilities have always had a small percentage of disaffected customers. They write letters to the editor grousing about the duration of a recent outage. They criticize a utility’s tree-trimming practices. They oppose a proposed price increase. But yesterday’s cranky customer is becoming more of an activist today, participating in protests that are aimed at more fundamental utility business practices: … Read More