Figuring out what to say, write, email, post, embed, film, upload, text, and tweet can make your head spin. But thinking ahead enables you to consider interesting, fresh ways to communicate, and then to produce those messages strategically.
The need is a better system for content planning, a method to deliver utility communications that are well-planned, timely, and on target. The system is important because customers pick up messages wherever they happen to be, whenever they want, through whatever media they prefer.
The common practice is to work in a frenzy, focusing only on the next deliverable. Many organizations send out newsletters and upcoming-event emails haphazardly, often at the last minute. They also tend to rely too much on one comfortable communication vehicle.
There are simple ways to control the chaos. Here are quick tips to plan smart content in advance — engaging material that capitalizes on the best publishing concepts:
- Determine annual educational campaigns. What utility-related topics important to your audience pop up each year? Earmark time and space in advance to “cover” these areas.
- Leverage National Observances. National utility organizations and the state designate certain days, weeks, and even months to bring awareness to issues. Many of these organizations and agencies include information about the issue and supporting materials online, free for your use. Using these resources can help you plan specific messages in advance without having to start from scratch.
- Think about seasons of the year. Just as retailers develop coupon programs and special rates based upon seasonality, you can do the same with utility-related communication. Think about what people want to know about when. You wouldn’t want to talk about how to prevent water lines from freezing in July.