Utilities and energy companies often find out the hard way what “stakeholder engagement” is and why they should care, and it’s usually when a proposal or project runs into a buzzsaw of public opposition leading to project delays, operational problems and spiraling costs.

Utilities and energy companies operate in a business environment where they need the support of their stakeholders to succeed at strategic initiatives such as building a power plant, siting a transmission line, drilling a well or deploying advanced digital meters. All of those activities can impact your customers, your employees and members of the community. Your success – or lack thereof – will be closely watched by your regulators, the news media, public opinion leaders, your strategic partners and your investors.

EEC has helped clients engage more…

EEC has helped clients engage more productively with their stakeholders in a variety of ways. For one client, it was rewriting the website to highlight investments in wind power, counter misperceptions about its actions, and positioning it as a trusted resource steward.

For another client, it was researching how utilities were using different terms and value propositions to describe advanced digital meter installations, so they could more effectively position their desired deployment. EEC helped a third client conduct more effective public outreach by rewriting and bite-sizing information on its website.

Best-practice companies don’t view stakeholder engagement as a one-off, episodic activity, something to be rolled out after an initiative runs aground. Wise companies work to engage their stakeholders on an ongoing basis, to maintain trust and strengthen favorable public perception. Doesn’t it make more business sense to make small investments today instead of large ones in the future?