Is Your Utility Headed for Trouble?

Egan EnergyBlog, Effective, Employee, Utility Communications3 Comments

I hung up the phone and thought, “Wow, that utility’s headed for trouble.” Then I turned on the TV and watched the Washington Redskins get mauled. Again. The sideline reporter kept talking about how cultural problems had turned an exciting playoff team into a cellar-dwelling disaster in one season. That’s why I’m glad I’m not affiliated with the Redskins either. … Read More

Creating an Eye-Catching, Customer-Friendly Utility Print Ad

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Creative, Customers, Effective, Messaging, Programs & Services, Utility Advertising, Utility Stakeholders1 Comment

Almost every utility has a good story to tell, but too few consistently tell it well. Good news, whether it’s about cleaning up the environment or improving the quality of life in a community, is typically smothered under industry jargon or a legalistic avalanche of words. But people are busy. Less is more. For utilities especially, brevity is Job 1. … Read More

The Danger of Detail – Use “Prices,” Not “Rates”

Egan EnergyBlog, Creative, Customers, Effective, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility Media Relations, Utility Stakeholders2 Comments

Most energy utilities – electric, gas and combinations – are increasing the price of their service these days. OK, let’s stop there. Yes, I said, “price,” not “rates.” That’s a conscious word choice I recommend, because “price” is more customer-intuitive than “rates.” Don’t believe me? Take off your “utility communicator” hat, put on your “consumer” hat, and join me as … Read More

“Truthy” Thoughts on 10 Persuasive Words that Improve Our Copy

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Customers, Effective, Messaging, Utility Advertising, Utility Communications, Utility Marketing, Utility Media RelationsLeave a Comment

Stephen Colbert would call it “truthy”– something that comes from the gut, sounds true, feels right, may be accurate — but ultimately has no basis in fact. Colbert’s idea about “truthiness” came to mind recently when I found Internet references to a list of the most persuasive words in the English language. The product of market research by a prestigious … Read More

“SUCCESful” Utility Messaging

Egan EnergyBlog, Creative, Effective, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility Marketing, Utility Media Relations1 Comment

How fast does your spam filter fill up? What about your personal message filter? We are absolutely overwhelmed with messaging. Digital ads pop up during Internet searches. Direct mail pieces fill our mailbox. Robo-calls interrupt our dinner. Traditional TV ads shout at us. Newspapers and magazines carry forgettable ads. While driving, we listen to CDs to avoid commercials. To continue … Read More

What are (Our) Words Worth?

Egan EnergyBlog, Creative, Effective, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility Marketing, Utility Media RelationsLeave a Comment

“What are words worth?” Tom Tom Club asked in a catchy song from the 1980s. You probably danced to it in college. I know I did. But let’s not go there, because it was a very different time and place. Instead, today, as utility communicators, let’s ask ourselves, “What are our words worth?” We know a poorly chosen word or … Read More

Flavor of the Decade: What Energy Utilities Can Learn From Verizon

Egan EnergyBlog, Customer, Effective, Messaging, Utility Advertising, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Marketing1 Comment

Do you remember this guy? Sure you do. For nine years starting in 2001, Paul Marcarelli was the face and the voice Verizon used to break through a crowded telecommunications market and build its brand. Verizon built its brand around a model dressed as a slightly nerdy technician who always asked, “Can you hear me now?” In other words, Verizon … 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