Organizational Change? Be Prepared to Communicate Until You are Blue in the Face

Egan EnergyBlog, EEC Industry Expertise, Utility LeadershipLeave a Comment

I’ve always loved the saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” I first heard it 20 years ago, in business school. Since then, I’ve been able to personally experience the truth of that statement, and I have spoken to innumerable people who have similarly experienced culture’s bite. Whether it’s a leadership change, a reorganization, a merger, a shift in strategy or … 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

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

Getting Your Utility’s Culture Back on Track

Egan EnergyBlog, Employee, Non-Verbal, Utility Communications, Utility Leadership, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Last month’s blog post asked whether your utility could be headed for a culture-based disaster. To help you answer that question, we proposed a simple and easy, albeit qualitative, diagnostic tool: is there a gap between what your utility says about customers, and what it does? Most utilities “talk the talk” about customers, stakeholder engagement, transparency, the importance of communications, … Read More

How’s That Employee Engagement Project Working?

Egan EnergyBlog, Employee, Employees, Utility Communications, Utility Leadership, Utility Stakeholders

Employees are feeling beaten down. Can you blame them? Their commitment to their organizations is being sapped by frozen salaries, staff cuts, organizational inertia, endless reorganizations, and poor quality communications. High-skilled employees depart, opting to pursue more rewarding work elsewhere, leaving fewer people around to do the work. That’s not how you would characterize life at your utility, would you?

Utility Communications: An Ounce of Prevention, or a Pound of Cure?

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Crisis, Customers, Effective, Employee, Utility Communications, Utility Leadership, Utility Media Relations, Utility Stakeholders, Value2 Comments

I hung up the phone, happy for my friend but sad about his company. It was not the first time I had this conversation, nor would it be the last. And they didn’t all go the same way. Sometimes I hung up the phone sad for my friend as well as his or her company. My friend is a communicator … 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

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