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

5,820 Members

Post

Empty News Budgets Mean Opportunities for Your Utilities

2255 © Andrianocz | Dreamstime.com

At my day job at a weekly newspaper, I keep a file with story ideas for both the current and upcoming few issues.

Sad to say (for me anyway), the pickings start to get slim by mid-June. This isn’t a surprise — it happens every year and is something news outlets of all stripes deal with and prepare for in advance. Schools are out, many businesses run reduced hours, governments scale back some services and people go on vacation.

The good news for utilities (and all would-be coverage seekers) is that the bar for inclusion becomes much lower. Those pitches that were rejected in March might look pretty good in mid-July when it’s 96 degrees and nothing much is happening.

In fact, I keep a separate file full of rejected story ideas that didn’t make the cut but at least had some merit and were worth considering. By the end of the summer, many of those stories have been covered.

What this means for you is that when the news calendar gets light, it’s time for you to up your pitching efforts. It’s counterintuitive, but it can work. Because other people aren’t pitching as much, there’s extra opportunity for you.

The usual caveats apply.

Make your pitches in advance. Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver. Explain why your pitch is newsworthy. Don’t make a pest of yourself. Make it easy for the media to cover you bylining up sources, providing background information, suggesting good photo possibilities and anything else asked of you.

Hot weather pitches are popular, but definitely think outside the box. Summer is a good time to try to showcase interesting employees or programs your utility offers.

You might ask your media outlets to revisit pitches they rejected in the past. Make your case but try to come up with something different that may sway an editor to cover your idea.

Summer also is a prime time to offer to contribute op-eds on topics of interest to the community. There’s a good chance your local outlet of choice may be scrambling to fill its opinion pages.

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.

Discussions

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 »