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

In the Court of Public Opinion, Utilities Lose by Playing Defense

Egan EnergyCustomer, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Leadership, ValueLeave a Comment

  Different people celebrate the 4th of July in different ways. Beyond the fireworks, baseball and ritual grilling of meat, I like to celebrate our nation’s independence by binge-watching my favorite TV show, “Law & Order,” the long-running police procedural drama.   The original show ran for 20 years and had several spin-offs. Regrettably, the original and most of its … Read More

At the Movies: How KUA Connects with Customers

Egan EnergyCommunities, Face-to-Face, Uncategorized, Utility Community RelationsLeave a Comment

Utility marketers and communicators I speak with remain intrigued by the idea of direct interaction with their clients, contacts not mediated by email, social media, the news media or the contact center’s voice-response unit (VRU). They understand the power of personally connecting with customers. But these utility representatives I speak with seem fixated on the logistical challenges of direct outreach: … Read More

You May be Speaking, But are They Listening?

Egan EnergyUtility CommunicationsLeave a Comment

“This is the most important tool you will ever use,” a crusty editor (is there another kind?) told me on my first day as an energy reporter almost 30 years ago. Holding the handset of a landline telephone, he continued, “Most people don’t know how to use this properly. If you do, you can beat our competitors. If you don’t, … Read More

Retirees: A Utility’s Secret Weapon in the Net Metering Battle

Egan EnergyBlog, Employee, Uncategorized1 Comment

Electric utilities across the country are getting PR black eyes on rooftop solar and net metering. The Washington Post, The New York Times and countless local news organizations have run articles on this national trend of homeowners putting solar panels on their rooftops. The controversy arises over net metering: what should homeowners pay to maintain the electric grid and preserve … Read More

Overcoming Email Immunity with Face-to-Face Communications

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Customers, Employees, Face-to-Face, Low-Cost, Utility Communications, Utility Marketing, Utility Stakeholders2 Comments

Earlier this summer I was delighted to speak at CONNECT ’14, an absolutely terrific event for electric cooperative communicators and marketers sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). The heightened importance of direct, face-to-face interaction with members was one of the takeaways of CONNECT ’14, held in San Antonio. And while the specifics of marketing and communicating with … Read More

Making Peace with Stakeholders Who Are Mad as Hell

Egan EnergyBlog, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Forty years ago Peter Finch won an Academy Award for his haunting portrayal of television newscaster Howard Beale in the movie Network. Beale channels the rage of his age into a nightly newscast that predated reality TV by decades. The two-minute newsroom scene where Beale goes crackers … Read More

Speak Continually, Sometimes Use Words

Egan EnergyBlog, Creative, Non-Verbal, Utility Communications, Utility Media RelationsLeave a Comment

I love this photo. You don’t have to have be a student of Middle East politics (although I was) to decode its meaning. Clearly, some person in authority is concerned about a bomb. Even though the bomb graphic looks like it came from the “Rocky & Bullwinkle” TV show, you get the point. Speaking at the United Nations, Israeli Prime … Read More

How Utilities Earn the Benefit of the Doubt

Egan EnergyBlog, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Leadership, Utility Media Relations1 Comment

The horn sounded and another terrific North Carolina-Duke basketball game was in the books. I’m a Tar Heel fan, so I was happy North Carolina won. The team’s margin of victory came from the free-throw line, where it had 20 more attempts than Duke. Carolina players spent so much time at the free-throw line you would think they called ahead … Read More