Thank you and good afternoon, everyone. It’s a pleasure to be here today to discuss the many ways we communicate to our customers across our diverse service territory. Over the last decade, the way we educate and connect with customers has evolved. We’ll spend time talking about how we’ve adapted our communications approach to meet and exceed customer expectations in this fast-paced world. We’re going to walk you through how we strategize, plan and execute our communications, to keep you and the communities we serve “in the know” on key energy issues that impact you and your families.
It wasn’t too long ago that traditional media ruled. Families gathered around the TV, listened to radio programs and read the news paper at breakfast on Sunday mornings. News was delivered in cycles and at specific times. There were morning and afternoon editions of papers. Companies like LG&E and KU mailed and faxed press releases to reporters. We only had print editions of employee and customer newsletters. It was easier to predict, and control, how news was delivered and information was sent to our customers.
In today’s times, we still rely on traditional news channels to communicate, but we’ve had to evolve our approach to meet customers directly on their social turf. How many of you have been to restaurants or movies and seen faces buried in an electronic device? If a customer has a bad experience, he or she can immediately let the world know about it. As Mark Twain said, a lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes. We are now operating in a 24/7 news cycle. And customers are more plugged in than ever before, particularly on social media.
The new world in which we operate is content heavy. These graphics provide a snapshot of the challenges we have in cutting through the clutter. While people still rely on traditional means to receive the news, these days, there’s much more competing for your attention. And for a company like ours, we have to work harder to cater to customers preferences. For instance, we don’t neglect TV, radio or print news. We still receive about 1,500 media calls annually and are devoted to those traditional channels. However, there are now 2 million people on Facebook in Kentucky alone, and more and more of our customer base uses social media and the web to receive news and interact with business like ours.
We closely align our different communication channels to ensure we’re reaching customers with a consistent, timely message. The outer circle shows the many functions of our department. They’re like a solar system of communications. These channels are all interconnected and supported by earned, owned and paid media. Earned media is when customers become the channel. This includes social media that is often supported by word-of-mouth and viral communications. Owned media are channels that we control directly, such as our web site , customer newsletters and employee communications. Paid media is how we leverage channels through many forms of advertising to drive engagement and raise awareness – to help cut through the clutter. All of these elements work together to create a customized experience for the customer. None of these elements are more important than another. All of the channels have an immediate need, particularly during a crisis situation.
This is a snapshot of the process we use to plan and execute content. Depending on the topic or project (and the immediacy of the situation), this process could take hours or days to complete and repeat. In both the short and long term, our group works to: Spot trends;Develop and approve concepts and content;Post the content to a particular channel or channels; Amplify;Measure; andOptimizeWe leverage and integrate paid, earned and owned media when possible to extend our reach and impact.
So, what does this look like? We launched a falcon cam at our Mill Creek Station earlier this year. In the past, we’d only rely on traditional channels to spread the word about it. Here’s a sample of some of the communication channels we leveraged to build awareness and drive traffic to the web cam. All of these elements worked together and produced one of our most positive stories of the year. In the end, our efforts drove more than 50,000 visits to the web came from people all across the globe – more than 30 countries to be exact.
We’re committed to keeping you informed on a variety of key energy issues, and use all of our communication channels to present information about these topics in a variety of ways. Utility Bill Impacts…the slow death of low energy rates.What is driving the increase in your energy bill?Environmental Compliance Costs Associated with EPA RegulationsNERC Reliability Compliance Costs Enhancements Requested By CustomersGlobal Competition Commodities What does it take to keep the lights on?FuelFuel TransportationGenerationTransmissionDistribution Embracing new technology and the value to our customers.Simpsonville — the state of the art Transmission Control CenterBilling/PaymentOutage MapsField Crew ConnectionImproved Interactive Voice Response (IVR) The cost and feasibility of renewable energy for our customers.Understanding our Geographical ConstraintsThe Cost of Going GreenThe Magnitude of Meeting Volume
The easiest way to slow the increase in your energy bill…Energy Efficiency.Our portfolio of programs has the ability to reduce 500 megawatts of demand by 2018 if customers take advantage of these programs. A/C Testing & Tune-UpResidential/Commercial Energy AnalysisDealer Referral NetworkHigh Efficiency LightingCommercial Energy RebateDemand ConservationWeCareFridge & Freezer RebatesSmart Energy Profile Customer tools that add value.My AccountPaperless billingOnline bill payHome Energy AnalysisReport an outage Key environmental sponsorships and community investmentsUniversity of Kentucky and University of Louisville energy research grantsTeacher energy educationPlant for the PlanetThe Olmsted Parks and The Parklands at Floyds ForkThe Arboretum and Yew Dell Gardens
You might be asking yourself, how does fish have anything to do with integrated communications? At our company, giving back to the communities in which we live and work is one of our top priorities. That’s a common thread among our employee base, but we realize that each community we serve has different needs. We don’t “serve up” our community involvement in a mass-produced, one-size-fits-all way.And over the next couple of slides, we’ll walk you through a few examples of how we customize our giving to match the unique needs of the communities we serve.
From festivals to museums and education to the arts, our community investment team and corporate responsibility group works to support many causes that are important to our customers across the areas we serve.We also have launched customized print newsletters to fence-line neighbors of our Mill Creek and Cane Run power plants her e in Jefferson County, where major construction work is taking place. It’s another way we’re keeping customers informed of our work and educating them about our business.
Here are a few of the ways you can stay informed and join the conversation. In addition to what’s featured on this slide, we have an online outage map and outage map app that are great sources of near real-time restoration information. Thanks, and at this time we’re happy to take any questions from the group.
Integrated Communications in the Digital Age
in the Digital Age
— Chris Whelan, Vice President, Communications
— Brian Phillips, Director, Brand, Advertising,
Customer and Digital Communications
Then: consumers receive news
• One message, few channels.
• Traditional media ruled.
• A time and place for news.
Now: an attention deficit
• There is information overload.
• Everyone is influential.
• News is more filtered.
Our challenge: cutting through the clutter
Source: Pew Research Center
Integrated communications at LG&E and KU
From planning to execution
Page 6Source: Michael Brito, Edelman Digital
Case study: Mill Creek falcon cam
Media Social Web Employee, Customer
Case study: Western Ky. pipeline project
Current...with a redesign effort underway
• Responsive design.
• Dynamic content.
• Built by customer feedback.
• Easier account
• Daily content updates.
Focused on issues that impact you
Utility Bill Impacts:
• What drives the increases in your monthly utility bill?
Keeping the lights on:
• What does it take to maintain safe and reliable service?
Embracing new technology and the value to our customers:
• How does new technology enhance the service we
The cost and feasibility of renewable energy in our area:
• What are the limitations, cost-impacts, challenges to
Focused on issues that impact you
The importance of energy efficiency:
• How can customers use energy more wisely to
mitigate cost increases?
Customer tools that add value:
• What programs and services do we offer customers
that make their lives easier?
• How do we improve the lives of customers in the
communities we serve?
Every employee speaks for LG&E and KU
• Employees are your best ambassadors.
• The more employees know about your company, the
better they can explain your business to friends and
• Don’t let your employees be the last to know.
Truths are universal, but locale matters
Supporting the communities we serve
— Gallery Hop Stop
— Green County History Museum
— Lt. Ephraim M. Brank Monument
— Lee C. Jones Park
— Ky. Christmas Chorus
— World Chicken Festival
— Ky. Derby Festival
Stay informed and join the conversation
Our customer newsletters:
On the web: www.lge-ku.com