CEO’s Report: We are #COMMUNITYpowered

Next week utilities across the country will celebrate Public Power Week. This is the perfect time to tell the public power story.

Heartland will once again be spreading the public power message through articles and advertisements in each of our customer newspapers. We will tout all the great things happening in your communities and highlight the service of your dedicated employees.

The American Public Power Association also just launched a new campaign to help utilities both understand and communicate why public power is important. #CommunityPowered is intended to help you raise awareness of public power in your community, so your customers understand they are served by public power, and what that means for residents, businesses and for the community as a whole.

About 49 million people in 49 states are public power customers, but the majority don’t realize their utility is community-owned. That’s why the theme of this campaign is community powered.

APPA has developed a campaign strategy, tools and resources we can all use to push the campaign out in all our communities. It includes information to help your customers lean about public power and to share their pride and support of their local public power utility.

The campaign in intended to build customer loyalty and broad appreciation of the public power business model.

The key message is that the community owns the utility and that the public power utility is accountable only to the community. But it’s not just about us telling customers how great public power is. It’s about getting the community members to express and share the pride of joint ownership.

The campaign is designed for implementation primarily through social media and local community events and outreach.

If your utility isn’t active on social media yet, now is the time! If you need help, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help you get started. It’s so easy and the best way to reach your customers all at once. It helps us all speak with one voice, amplifying our message and engaging stakeholders.

We at Heartland are always here to help spread the message of public power, but we encourage you to take ownership of this campaign as well. Working together we can get the message out even further.

Visit the newly created WeAreCommunityPowered.com for facts about public power you can use. You can also drive your customers to this site to learn more about public power. It also has a Find Your Utility section with a map listing all public power utilities by state and links back to your website if you have one.

The site also has a Utility Resources section with materials for you to download and use.

If you are on social media, be sure to start using the hashtag #CommunityPowered in all your posts. This will help bring the campaign voices and activity together across the country.

APPA also has a webpage set up with information and suggestions on how to implement the campaign. I highly encourage you to visit www.PublicPower.org/Awareness-Campaign for a variety of tools, tips, and tricks to get the public power message out there!

Public power is unique in so many ways but it’s up to us to get our message out. We offer a variety of benefits to those we serve but they not always be obvious. Let’s worth together to spread the public power message, starting with Public Power Week.