This special interest group is where customer care professionals share tactics on how utilities are improving interactions with their customers. 


You need to be a member of Energy Central to access some features and content. Please or register to continue.


The State of the Media in 2021 – and What it Means to Your Utility

image credit: ID 10761624 © David Lawrence |

Other than maybe Zoom, Netflix and Clorox, few businesses are going to look back fondly on 2020.

And while restaurants, the airlines and leisure facilities, among others, were getting especially slammed by the pandemic, 2020 was terrible for an already reeling media.

The media’s been financially besieged for years and the pandemic hastened the demise of some outlets, ended print publication (retaining an online presence) for others and prompted staffing cuts at many of the rest.

At my own weekly paper, the number of reporters was trimmed from four to two. By year’s end, 10 people were putting together the paper. Twenty years earlier, there were 15 people in the news department alone.

Well, all of that is my problem, not yours, but your utility should know the media landscape has changed significantly and how to best work with it.

In some regards, a weaker media is beneficial to businesses. Inexperienced reporters don’t know the right questions to ask, are more willing to accept information at face value and, because they’re overworked, are less likely to vet facts.

That doesn’t mean you should lie to the media, but it does mean you might have an easier time getting your message across unfiltered

Given the heavier workloads on reporters and editors, be sure to make things easy on them. Provide all the information they need, whether it’s a press release, photos, videos, statements, press kits and so on. When asked to provide other material or answer questions, don’t delay. If you snooze, you may well lose.

In addition, offer to provide ready-made copy – in essence, write the story yourself. Many outlets will still either refuse it (or write their own version), but it’s a good starting point. And more and more outlets will take it.

You’ll also have to more frequently update your media lists. If you’re sending press materials to people who no long work at an outlet or don’t cover you any more, that doesn’t help anyone.

Finally, remember that you have an ever-increasing ability to promote yourself, whether it’s through social media, your website, podcasts and whatever new crops up in the coming decade.


Spell checking: Press the CTRL or COMMAND key then click on the underlined misspelled word.

No discussions yet. Start a discussion below.

Andy Gotlieb's picture

Thank Andy for the Post!

Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »