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

AdminBlog, Customer, Effective, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility Marketing, Utility Rate Case Communications, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

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

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

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

Changing Your Organization’s Culture One Minute at a Time

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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

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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

Build Your Safety Net Before You Need it

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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

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