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.


Take What the Media Gives Your Utility

image credit: ID 147434444 © Roman Stetsyk |

In an ideal world, every pitch you make to the media is graciously accepted and acted upon, with the resulting favorable coverage fitting in perfectly with your utility’s marketing plans.

In real life, however, the results will be significantly different.

That’s why you should take what the media gives you.

Case in point: At my day job today, I met with a regular contact who’s always pitching something or other. His latest cause is a hospital fundraising event that will honor a couple local people.

It’s an OK pitch, so I told him we’d probably write an advance on the event in our issue appearing a few days before the fundraiser. That’s kind of standard operating procedure — if you write about an event too far in advance, everyone forgets about it by the time it actually rolls around.

Most people would be happy with the coverage, but this guy wasn’t, asking if we could write about the event earlier to help him sell tickets.

While he certainly had the right to ask for what he considered better coverage, you have to be careful not to offend/enjoy the journalist. I stopped just short of telling the guy that I didn’t work for him and was not part of his public relations team, so I didn’t have to cover the event at all.

If you’re disappointed by the potential coverage you’re going to get, make the most of it. Make the experience as easy as possible for the journalist. Without being a pest, provide background information, good visuals and access to key figures in the story. Respond immediately to requests and make every effort to fulfill them.

Most of all, be gracious. Journalism and public relations should be a two-way street. If you help out a journalist, they’re likely to remember that the next time you work together and give you the benefit of the doubt.

I have an informal list of the 10 most annoying PR people I deal with on a regular basis. Believe me, you don’t want to be on that list, of some variation thereof, with the journalists who cover your utility

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.


No discussions yet. Start a discussion below.

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 »