A Wild(e) Thought on the Value of Communications for Utilities

Egan EnergyUtility Communications, ValueLeave a Comment

  “A cynic,” Oscar Wilde once wrote, is someone “who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.” That may offend electric and gas company officials with budgetary responsibilities. Since resources are not unlimited, someone has the (often thankless) task of deciding what will be funded and what won’t. Wilde’s comment may sting, but like many of his … Read More

Maslansky on Messaging for Utility Communicators

Egan EnergyBlog, Utility Communications3 Comments

Learning a new language scares me. I have tons of respect for anyone who can learn to speak another language. Me, I’ve had four unsuccessful efforts to learn another language: French in elementary school, Spanish in high school, Latin in high school and Arabic in graduate school. None of those forays ended well. Whatever the language, I have been told … Read More

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