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

You Wanna Be Right, or Understood, in Your Utility Customer Communications?

Egan EnergyBlog, CustomerLeave a Comment

I spoke with a utility communicator not too long ago who was having difficulty convincing the highly technical leader of her utility to use easily understood language in communicating with the public. The leader was a stickler for precision and comprehensiveness, which led to long and complicated communications with customers, which the communicator suspected were almost never read. She probably … Read More

Employee Communications: Showing Your True Colors on Day 1

Egan EnergyEmployee, Employee Communications, EmployeesLeave a Comment

Sometimes Saturdays come on Thursdays. When you own your own small business, you have to flex around client needs/crises, deadlines, business development, client management and lots of other to-dos. Going hard for three or four days in a row sometimes means your brain needs a day off. There are times my brain can’t wait until Saturday for a day off. … Read More

“Holy Kilowatts, Batman!” So What’s Your Story?

Egan EnergyCustomer, Utility CommunicationsLeave a Comment

Have you ever left an energy conference and run into a life-sized Pikachu Pokémon©? How about coming face to face with a Star Wars stormtrooper©? I recently encountered those and many other colorful characters, most of whom I didn’t recognize, when the energy conference I was attending, HydroVision International, was ending while Denver Comic Con was starting. Both events shared … 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

Another Copper Bullet in the War Against Utility Scams

Egan EnergyCustomer, EffectiveLeave a Comment

Did you participate in Facebook’s recent “10 concerts” meme? You know the one — Facebook users were invited to list nine concerts they actually attended and one they didn’t. Their FB friends were asked to guess which one was not, in fact, attended by that person. The meme swept through FB-land like wildfire, drawing millions of responses in a matter … 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

What if Plato was Your Energy Communications Consultant?

Egan EnergyEffective, Utility Communications, ValueLeave a Comment

“Thought leadership” is a term you hear a lot these days. I’ve penned a few “thought leadership” pieces over the years. But today, I thought I’d go back and ask, only slightly tongue in cheek, what recommendations Plato (left) and Aristotle might make if they were your energy communications consultant. I think you’ll find their words of wisdom, spoken over … Read More

Utilities, Do More Face-to-Face Public Engagement!

Egan EnergyCommunities, Customer, Effective, Face-to-Face, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

I’m not much for poetry — I know, my loss — but one poem that did make a lasting impression on me was Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” which I learned in Mr. Gagliardi’s 7th grade English class at St. Theresa’s School in Briarcliff Manor, New York. The poem ended this way: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and … 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