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Promote Your Utility’s Energy-Saving Tips, Programs This Summer

If it’s not already hot in your part of the country, it will be soon.

That means it’s a good time to start a public relations campaign for your utility that touts the energy-saving programs you offer and the energy-saving tips you can pass along.

Local news, especially, TV news, is obsessed with the weather — just think how they breathlessly promote every 2-inch snow, 90-degree day and half-inch of rain as a “weather event.”

Since they’re already going to be talking about the weather, why not get your utility involved?

Most likely, you already have evergreen press releases containing numerous energy-saving tips for hot days. Not a whole lot of changes are likely needed, but check the wording and rewrite as necessary to increase clarity and maybe update your information. Check releases sent out by other utilities to see if they have any tips you can add to your list.

When you pitch those releases, be sure to note that utility staff members would be happy to demonstrate on camera how to implement those tips.

Even better, make videos showing those tips put in place and link to them in the release. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Separate releases can be devoted to energy-saving programs you might offer. That could include rebates for homeowners who buy energy-efficient appliances, payments to pick up used, inefficient appliances and free home or business energy audits.

Again, you probably already have evergreen press releases touting them, but spruce them up as needed.

Then make sure to pitch them: The public tends to have a short memory, so a reminder may spur some people to action. Linking explanatory videos in the release again would be helpful.

A key to getting good coverage this summer will be in remaining proactive. News usually slows down in the summer, leaving journalists scrambling to fill space and airtime.

Just about any topic you think of might warrant coverage. For example, prior to (or at the start of) an extended heatwave, explain how added demand can be met by securing additional power via the transmission grid. Or promote a feature on you “war room,” which tracks energy usage. As always, when thunderstorms knock out power, show your crews at work.

The possibilities aren’t endless, but they certainly are plentiful.

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