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Promote Any Hurricane Ida Help Your Utility is Offering

image credit: Photo 163130855 © Susan Sheldon | Dreamstime.com
Andy Gotlieb's picture
Managing Editor of a specialty publication, former public relations practitioner Freelancer

I hold 32 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
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  • Sep 1, 2021 8:15 pm GMT
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In the wake of Hurricane Ida – and the continuing trail of damage, as the remnants are expected to lash my hometown any moment now – there will be plenty of stories about cleanup efforts.

Many of those stories will focus on restoring power and how utilities from around the country are pitching in to help with that massive effort.

If your utility is among those pitching in, you certainly should promote it – not for the glory of doing so, but because it’s the right thing to do. It’s a perfect way to showcase the utility’s altruistic side and demonstrate that you’re not a single-minded faceless conglomerate.

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Any public relations surrounding your storm relief assistance needs to be relatively mellow and definitely not self-congratulatory. Focus on the need to help society.

Showcase your employees that are being sent to the stricken areas and be sure to highlight the personal sacrifices they’re making. Remember that they are away from their families and are likely in areas with limited amenities and a surplus of misery. It’s certainly not an easy job.

Maybe you can have someone blog the experience and answer the questions the public is likely to consider.

How do you coordinate power restoration efforts? How do you familiarize yourself with an unfamiliar area? How does this situation compare to prior efforts. What specific problems and challenges are you seeing this time around? How is the local utility (and impacted communities) responding to your efforts? Do you have any memorable moments to share.

A picture (or video) really does say 1,000 words, so get plenty of both.

Aside from pitching the local media, be sure to promote your stories on your website and social media. Later, you could even include information about your efforts via bill inserts, email and so on.

Humanizing your utility at every step is a worthwhile public relations goal and responses to Ida are the ideal way to showcase that.

Andy Gotlieb's picture
Thank Andy for the Post!
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