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Turn Up the Pitching Heat Before Temperatures Rise Too Far

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My home air conditioning’s usually been well tested by this point in May by an early-season hot spell, but it’s still sitting idle more than a week into the month.

Temperatures may have remained mostly mild in much of the nation so far, but make no mistake – the hot weather is coming. And that means your utility should be putting its hot weather media coverage plans in place now.

There a few things you can do.

Bill inserts with energy-saving tips are a common, effective tactic. The information never really changes, but is there a better way to present it? A simple redesign or rewrite can make the same old material seem fresh again.

It’s the same deal with the energy press releases you’ve been sending out like clockwork for years. A rewrite might draw some new eyes. People always like numbers, so talk about previous summer energy peaks and speculate on the chances they might get topped.

Maybe you can focus on any new technology you have, such as in a control room that monitors energy use on hot days, especially if the visuals are good: I still remember my 1987 visit as a TV news intern to PECO’s control room during the first 90-plus degree day of the year. It made a lasting impression.

In other words, think visuals. You’d be surprised at how many routine things a utility does that will look good on the camera.

And in this green era, now’s the time to promote your energy-saving programs, if you have them. You might be able to prod customers into action if you have rebates for energy-efficient appliances or if your utility offers home inspections to pinpoint energy efficiencies (and inefficiencies).

Of course, all of this is well and good, but keep in mind that your utility’s PR department’s most valuable tool is likely a detailed calendar that will track all your materials — and when you will promote them.

Andy Gotlieb's picture

Thank Andy for the Post!

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