RECENT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
“Seven Rules for Preventing (or Fixing) Your Next Communications Crisis,” 86th Annual Conference of the California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA), March 26-27, 2018, San Francisco, CA
Your crisis is coming, of that you can be certain. As a utility leader, what will you do and say when something goes seriously wrong and the white-hot media spotlight is trained on you? Fortunately, the formula is simple. Unfortunately, there are plenty of examples where utilities (and other crisis-stricken people and organizations) did not follow the formula. John will explore what to do and say when things go wrong, and what you can do to prevent crises on your watch.
“Utility Communications: From Good to Great,” Northern California Power Agency (NCPA) Communications Workshop, March 15, 2018, Roseville, CA
John engaged NCPA utility member executive leaders and board members in this day-long workshop. This workshop focused on communicating clearly, crisply and frequently to stakeholders to advance their utility’s strategic initiatives. Additional areas focused on writing as storytelling, working with the news media, messaging for maximal effectiveness and preventing (or fixing) the next communications crisis.
“Community Engagement through Employee Ambassadors,” American Public Power Association (APPA) National Conference, June 20, 2017, Orlando, FL
Fostering community goodwill is public power’s unique selling proposition. Building strong relationships with your community requires constant outreach and engagement — and not just from your customer service and communications departments. Hear about utility programs that turnemployees — and even retirees — into ambassadors who can reach out into the community and help strengthen ties with your customers.
“Marketing & Communications on a Shoestring,” a webinar from the American Public Power Association (APPA), January 12, 2017
Everyone at your utility is busy keeping the lights on. Who has the time, money, or skills for marketing? You’d be surprised at what you can do very little to no staff and resources! Learn how small utilities, with limited resources, have found creative ways to reach customers with key messages. Discover how digital and social technologies have opened up new possibilities. See how you can leverage customer connections to help you promote your utility’s programs, raise your profile, and establish your role as a trusted energy advisor to your customers.
“Preferred Communication Channels for Enhancing Customer Engagement,” EUCI Conference, December 6-7, 2016, New Orleans, LA
Utilities are installing technology that streamlines processes, automates functions and engages customers. Technology certainly is part of the answer to the question, “How does the utility better engage customers?” But an over-reliance on technology risks overlooking a utility’s powerful, no-cost, already installed customer-engagement resource — its people. Rooftop solar advocates used people power to help win the early phase of the debate over net metering. Properly mobilized, a utility’s human resources — employees and retirees — can be its indispensable tool to engaging customers.
“Best Practices in Complex Issue Messaging” American Public Power Association (APPA), November 6-9, 2016, Nashville, Tennessee
The utility industry is changing, and we as utility communicators are challenged with explaining these changes to our key audiences (including customers, policymakers, and the media) in language that can easily be understood. Find out how public power utilities are messaging—and training leadership to message—on complex issues such as the clean power plan, net metering and pricing.
“Innovative Customer Education Ideas and Strategies” Rural Electricity Resource Council Conference, May 23-24, 2016, Columbus
Learn from a utility communications expert how to effectively engage your customers and convey essential topics about electricity. John has worked with power suppliers of all sizes and budgets including municipals, electric co-ops, public power providers and IOUs. He’ll use interesting examples from several states, to share practical ideas and useful strategies that can enhance your own communication programs in energy efficiency, renewables and “our side of the meter” issues.
- U.S. Office of Personnel Management
- American Public Power Association
- Missouri River Energy Services
- Cornerstone Hydro Electric Concepts
- Northwest Public Power Association
- National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
- Rural Electricity Resource Council