Internal and external communication professionals in the utility industry face a variety of challenges in supporting their organizations’ strategic plans, particularly as the utility workforce undergoes significant transformation, communication channels multiply, and utilities face increasing competition. This semiannual forum provides a unique, collaborative space for leaders in corporate communications to discuss these challenges and communications best practices. Recent topics of discussion include executive communications strategy, communicating with employees in the field, stakeholder engagement, crisis communication and communicating strategic plans.
Energy company corporate communications senior leadership, including directors and managers.
Member: $399 USD
Registration price increases $50 after August 6, 2018. Registration includes access to all Corporate Communications agenda items. Registration includes lunch and networking dinner on Thursday, breakfast and lunch on Friday, and all meeting materials. Guest tickets are available for $80 and allow a personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event. Guest registration includes all meals and receptions, and all program materials.
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
9:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Welcome to Idaho Power Company
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Facilitator(s): Debra Leithauser, Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing, Idaho Power Company
Attendees are encouraged to share their name, company overview, general role within the organization and a recent win or current challenge.
10:30 AM - 10:45 AM
10:45 AM - 12:00 PM
Speaker(s): Andrew Munro, Senior Manager, External Affairs and Communications, Grant County PUD
With a wide variety of crises that utilities can possibly face any time, it is important to be prepared to effectively respond? During this session, Grant County PUD will share their case study of how they responded to a large crack that appeared in a large hydroelectric dam. We will discuss crisis communications strategies, plan, and tactics for responding to events in the current digital area. Attendees are encouraged to participate in the roundtable discussion by sharing either an unexpected or unusual crisis moment and being prepared for the unexpected.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Employer Brand Strategies for Recruiting + Onboarding
Speaker(s): Erica Erland, Corporate Communications Manager, Clark Public Utilities
With utilities facing an increasing number of retirements and shifting talent needs, recruiting and retaining high-quality employees for corporate and operation roles presents a significant challenge to the industry. Increasingly, communications professionals are being asked to create branding and communications strategies that highlight their company culture to help meet recruitment goals. In this session, utilities will share their experience and examples rolling out communication strategies and branding to attract talent and onboard new employees.
2:15 PM - 2:30 PM
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Energy Resource Mix: Communicating Utility Issues to the Public
Speaker(s): Joseph Ramallo, Asst. General Manager, Communications, Media & Community Affairs, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Joe Salkowski, Director, Corporate Communications & Community Relations, Tucson Electric Power
Gas and electric utilities will share their strategies and challenges associated with communicating their energy portfolio requirements and needs to the public. We will discuss what disconnects exist between customers and utilities and explore best practices for the engaging customers on this topic. Likely utility issues we will cover include solar and net metering, gas supply, resource adequacy, and renewable natural gas.
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Optional Walking Tour of Downtown Boise
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
WEI Hosted Networking Dinner
Join us for dinner in historic downtown Boise at The Brickyard.
601 Main Street
Boise, ID 83702
7:30 AM - 8:00 AM
Continental breakfast will be provided onsite at Idaho Power Company.
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Using Demographics for Messaging
Speaker(s): Scott Simms, Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist, Bonneville Power Administration
Marketers have been increasingly using different layers and sources of data to target customers and constituents. But how much progress have utilities made in taking advantage of the data that is already available to them? Scott Simms of Bonneville Power Administration will share his department’s journey of partnering with their utility’s GIS team to create a dynamic demographic database to help better inform the development of executive speeches at the community level as well as influence messaging for other targeted communications activities. One of these activities includes highlighting how the database will be used in 2019 to inform messaging to specific communities in the multi-state Hydropower Flows Here education campaign.
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Environmental Stewardship Communications
10:15 AM - 10:30 AM
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Hot Topic Roundtable
Attendees will have a chance to ask questions directly to their peers for feedback.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Lunch and Planning for Next Steps
Provide feedback on the meeting and topics for the Spring Forum.
1:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Please contact the hotel directly at (208) 342-4622 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute and give the code ‘1709WESTER’ or book online uto receive a special rate of $169 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until August 6, 2018 or until the WEI room block is full.