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Autumn a Milepost for Your Utility’s PR Efforts

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Andy Gotlieb's picture
Editor of a specialty publication, former public relations practitioner Freelancer

I hold 34 years of experience in communications, mostly in journalism, with a decade in public relations, too.  The first 17 years were spent in print journalism, where I covered, at various...

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  • Aug 24, 2021
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Although COVID-19’s delta variant is doing its best to prevent a full return to normalcy for society, your utility’s public relations efforts should be as close to business as usual once Labor Day passes.
 

Are things back to “normal”? Not by a long shot and there’s a reasonable chance that conditions deteriorate again, but you need to think in terms of business as usual (with contingencies built in).

Your utility should have an active public relations plan in place for the fall.

If your company is publicly owned, your schedule of earnings reports and other announcements isn’t going to change.

If you’re not publicly owned (and even those that are) you should be ramping up activity after the mostly slow summer season.

What does that mean?

You likely have several evergreen notices you put out regularly, such as calling before digging and taking care trimming around power lines. Spruce them up and send them out.

If you’re hosting or sponsoring events, be sure to promote them, noting any masking/social distancing requirements in your particular area.

If you have news, whether it’s key hirings, acquisitions, construction/maintenance projects and so on, get it out there.

There will be a lot more competition looking for media coverage since other entities will follow the game plan outlined above, so make your pitches count.

Know the journalists and media outlets that cover you. Make sure your media lists are updated. A lot of journalists have moved around or are looking for work.

Pitch worthwhile things and be realistic in your expectations. Your hiring of a chief marketing officer isn’t front-page news unless you’re hiring Jay-Z, Tom Brady or someone of that ilk.

Remember to be considerate of journalists. Last-minute pitches won’t be met favorably unless they’re truly breaking news; plan things well in advance. If you schedule an event, good times tend to be 10-11 a.m., 1-2 p.m. and 7-8 p.m. Think visually.

Finally, be creative. Don’t go too far outside the box, but the best pitches are ones that push boundaries just a bit.

Andy Gotlieb's picture
Thank Andy for the Post!
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