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

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

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

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

“Medium Rare or Well Done?”

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Cost-Effective, Creative, Customer, Customers, Effective, Low-Cost, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Creativity Cuts Cost of Connecting with Utility Customers Utility communicators are under increased pressure to do more with less. That puts a premium on creativity. We’re all searching for the same Holy Grail: low-cost, high-impact ways to connect with customers. Two public-power utilities recently shared some very creative ideas to connect with customers. Perhaps their ideas can help you connect … Read More

Who’s On Top—Shareholders or Stakeholders?

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Customers, Employees, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Leadership, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

A recent Washington Post article on the presidential race rekindled a long-simmering “shareholder vs. stakeholder” debate. How should profit-seeking businesses parcel out their time, energy, and money among competing constituencies like investors, employees, customers (including regulators), communities, suppliers and the like? Utility communicators, no less than presidential candidates, have decidedly different views about which group is the proverbial “first among … Read More

Talking About Energy (but Not About Prices)

Egan EnergyCustomer, Customers, Efficiency & Conservation, Energy News, Messaging, Non-Verbal, Programs & Services, Utility Advertising, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Marketing, Utility Stakeholders, ValueLeave a Comment

It’s not easy to talk about electric or gas service. Unlike consumer goods such as cars, homes or food, consumers can’t interact directly with electric or gas service: They can’t store it, they can’t give some of it to their friends, and it doesn’t really come in different colors. That’s why many utilities end up discussing their service in terms … Read More

Communications Breakdown: Xcel Energy’s Smart Grid Program

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Customer, Customers, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Leadership, Utility Marketing, Utility Media Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Will Poor Communications Destroy Xcel Energy’s Smart Grid Program? Some utilities are having trouble implementing Smart Grid or Smart Meter projects that rely on customers changing the way they use energy. Reaching customers and getting them to consider changing their behavior requires a long-term, integrated, campaign that includes customer communications, media relations, and public relations, among other tools. There are … Read More

Broader Stakeholder Engagement Needed to Site Transmission Projects

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Customer, Customers, Effective, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Leadership, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

DENVER, COLORADO–March 8, 2010–Written by John Egan for Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas)–State and federal renewable electric standards (RES) cannot be met without the construction of new transmission lines to connect often remote renewable generation sources to far-off load centers, speakers told a wind and transmission workshop sponsored by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) (Washington, D.C.). Getting these … Read More