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Is Your Utility’s Public Relations Program Weatherproofed for Winter?

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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...

  • Member since 2016
  • 1,003 items added with 507,138 views
  • Nov 1, 2021
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Now that we're in November, winter is beckoning, even if most areas won't see snow for quite a while,

And that means your public relations program for the cold months should be firmly in place.

Some of that should be old hat, such as your evergreen release about how having a few strands of Christmas lights isn’t going to spike consumer electric bills or about ways to save energy by lowering thermostats at night or when nobody’s home.

But what else should you be doing between now and, say, March?

The end of the year is a great time for saying thanks, in case you somehow forgot about the upcoming holiday. Thank your employees, customers and anyone else who makes your utility what it is. Recently, I wrote a post about thanking the journalists who cover your company; don’t forget them.

You also should dust off any bad weather emergency plans you have – assuming you haven’t already used them in what’s been a wild weather year. As always, update them to incorporate best practices based on your past experiences.

Meantime, you should be polishing your public relations plan for 2022, taking into consideration that there may not be a return to normalcy that everyone expects. It seems more and more likely the pandemic will prove to be a long-term world-changing event.

Therefore, your key goal for 2021 should involve sticking with basics and getting your message out there. In a time of unrest, the goal should be to project stability and reliability – utility hallmarks! Hammer that message home again and again.

Your PR should demonstrate that you’re a reliable service provider that you go above and beyond when Mother Nature interferes.

Highlight your efforts toward using more clean energy and for being a good corporate citizen.

If you’re publicly traded, point out how you provide shareholder value.

In other words, sell the steak, not the sizzle. Au utility is all about the steak.

Andy Gotlieb's picture
Thank Andy for the Post!
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