CEO’s Report: Getting the most out of your Public Power membership

August 1, 2018

At our recently held Summer Conference, Tobias Sellier shared with us how we can better communicate the value of public power. He also highlighted ways American Public Power Association can help.

APPA was created to advance the public policy interests of its members and their customers, and provide member services to ensure adequate, reliable electricity at a reasonable price with the proper protection of the environment.

For over seven decades, APPA has been the link for communities to preserve local, public ownership of electric utilities.

Tobias Sellier of APPA spoke at Heartland’s recent Summer Conference

As director of media relations & communications for APPA, Sellier provided simple steps to break through the noise, win customer loyalty and become the customer’s go-to source for all things energy.

APPA has a variety of tools at our disposal to help with all of this.

In last month’s report I talked about the importance of social media in communicating with customers and spreading the public power message.

Sellier reiterated that point during his presentation and pointed out that social media is no longer an option. It is one of the best ways to stay on your customers’ radars and is necessary in both good times and in bad.

APPA is here to help you communicate. They have a variety of resources available to make your job easier, including a communication plan and monthly emails with social media content ideas.

APPA offers an annual communications plan template, outlining sample objectives, tactics to help you reach those objectives, actions to help carry out your plan and tools to help measure your success.

They also have several resources on their website listed by topic, such as reliability, safety, solar, rates and more. Resources include infographics, videos and presentations.

Resources by month are also listed with a different theme each month such as energy saving tips in July and Public Power 101 in April.

They provide a variety of statistics showing the value of public power as well as energy efficiency tips and electricity education.

Additionally, you can reprint or share any of their articles from Public Power Daily, their monthly magazine or their blog.

They also have in the works a national public power awareness campaign and will be seeking input from members on implementation. It will include additional resources and templates as well as do it yourself training videos.

We learned from our customer survey last year and APPA has also found that there are a lot of misconceptions about public power. It is up to us to clear up those misconceptions and remind people why public power is so great.

In addition to all these tools, one of the most important services APPA provides occurs mostly behind the scenes. They represent public power before the federal government to protect the interests of the more than 49 million people that public power utilities serve and the 93,000 people they employ.

Their tagline is “Powering Strong Communities,” and is something I think they live up to every day. If you aren’t familiar with all the services they provide, I encourage you to check out their website,

The best part about all these great resources is they are provided at no extra cost with your APPA membership, which Heartland pays for on your behalf. So what are you waiting for? If you aren’t utilizing these valuable tools, get started today.