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Lighten the Mood Through Your Utility’s Public Relations and Social Media Content

image credit: Photo 167984820 © David Burke |
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...

  • Member since 2016
  • 1,003 items added with 507,125 views
  • Oct 26, 2020

It’s getting darker in more ways than one across the nation right about now.

Now only is Daylight Saving Time ending this weekend, but the nation’s mood as a whole seems to be gloomy and on edge, in part because of politics and in part because of COVID-19.

My newspaper’s advice columnist fields a question this week about someone who can’t sleep because they’re worried about the election. Seems kind of dramatic to me, but so be it.

It’s time to lighten up a bit – and your utility can help.

If you can come up with some kind of Halloween-themed press release, go for it. Or if you can tie “fall back” to an energy usage release, have at it. Maybe there’s even a quirky release possible about how the shorter days somehow impact your utility – if solar is a main source of electrical generation, describe how the reduced sunlight impacts (or doesn’t impact) things.

Are you going to get much media coverage out of this? Probably not, although some smaller outlets (with fewer and fewer employees) may consider it.

And that’s OK. Not everything your public relations department does needs to generate local daily cover stories or 90-second spots on TV newscasts. There’s value in simply demonstrating that you’re part of the community.

Of course, as always, you can promote your materials on your social media channels – or even focus this material exclusively online. Social media is a place where you can be a bit more casual and have some fun. A reminder: Fun doesn’t mean edgy. We’re in politically correct times, so keep everything on the vanilla side. If you wouldn’t let your grandma see the content, don’t let anyone else, either.

But you can certainly ask customers for pictures of elaborate Halloween decorating, cool costumes or intricate pumpkin carving.

You can also do your patriotic duty by encouraging people to vote, but take extreme care to be nonpartisan. Even mentioning candidates is bound to lead to a bunch of people complaining.

Andy Gotlieb's picture
Thank Andy for the Post!
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