Utility Customer Messaging: Leaders Go First

AdminBlog, Customer, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility LeadershipLeave a Comment

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

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

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

How to Write a Press Release: Tips from Both Sides of the Laptop

AdminEffective, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility Media RelationsLeave a Comment

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

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 Marketing1 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

Effective and SUCCESful Messaging for Utilities

Egan EnergyBlog, MessagingLeave a Comment

Our challenge as utility communicators comes down to two separate yet interconnected things: Messaging and Messenger. That’s the Alpha and Omega of communications. You need to craft a message your audience can grasp and you need to deliver it cost effectively. A great message can be undermined by a bad message-delivery choice. And even the best means of delivering a … Read More

Utility Communications: Don’t Overlook (Or Shoot!) The Messenger

Egan EnergyMessaging, Utility CommunicationsLeave a Comment

When I write or speak about utility communications, I tend to focus on the “message” part of the communications process, i.e., which words should be used and which ones should be avoided in order to achieve a desired result. Like this post. And this post. Last month, when I spoke at the American Public Power Association’s National Conference, I focused … Read More

Utility Marketing: Creating a Value Proposition That Resonates

Egan EnergyEffective, Messaging, Utility Advertising, ValueLeave a Comment

What, if anything, can utility marketers learn from companies that are not in the business of providing electricity, natural gas or water? Longtime readers know my views on that: lessons are everywhere, from insurance companies to football teams, airlines and telecommunications companies. You just have to be open to the potential that some company not engaged in the provision of … Read More

Utility Communications: Don’t Play Word Games on Price Increases

Egan EnergyCreative, Customer, Customers, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

“You say ‘po-TA-to,’ I say ‘po TAH-to.’ You say ‘to-MA-to,’ I say ‘to-MAH-to.’ ” That’s the kind of word game more and more utilities are playing these days. It’s a game I expect most will lose, mainly because utilities and their customers are not using a common vocabulary. Changes in prices — mainly increases but sometimes decreases — will be … Read More