Implementing Effective Communication Strategies – Playbook Review Part 6
In the previous post, we discussed the challenging step of obtaining approval for a resiliency program. Now, we are ready to explore the implementation step. Chapter five of PDi2‘s Utility Infrastructure Resiliency Playbook breaks this step down into three key components: a communication strategy, a construction strategy, and the development of program key performance indicators (KPIs). This post will discuss the elements of an effective communication strategy.
Effective Communication Strategy
As is highlighted in several of the Playbook’s case studies, both stakeholder and ratepayer effective communications are critical to the successful development, approval, and implementation of a resiliency program. Three audiences, segregated by a phase of the resilience program, require effective communication throughout the process:
- Regulators or Legislators to seek approval
- Stakeholders affected by construction activity
- Public, Regulators, and Legislators to report performance and result
Each audience has its own communication objective and key points. A detailed breakdown of key communication points can be found in chapter 5 of the Playbook.
Regulators or Legislators
Communication Objective: Achieve approval of the resiliency program.
Key Points: Build the basis of a logical and structured financial and ratepayer benefit case to support the implementation of a resiliency program.
Communication Objective: Inform stakeholders of pending construction activity on or near their property.
Key Points: A combination of traditional and social media communication methods is necessary here. Stakeholders should feel informed during this stage and know what to expect during construction. Duke Energy used a combination of community meetings, welcome and update letters, door hangers, and survey feedback to successfully communicate progress of their undergrounding program with stakeholders.
Public, Regulators, and Legislators
Communication Objective 1: Demonstrate performance versus plan on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis.
Communication Objective 2: Demonstrate results achieved for ratepayers and the general public.
Key Points: The routine performance and progress reporting will occur on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis to demonstrate progress versus phase milestones. The key points of communication are designed for the general public, ratepayers, and PUC or legislative sponsors.
Download the Playbook
Those interested are encouraged to download a free copy of PDi2’s Utility Infrastructure Resiliency Playbook for more information on each audience and the key points to be communicated. Additionally, the Playbook contains a detailed analysis of each step of a resiliency program, case studies, and links to additional resources. The next post will discuss how to approach a construction strategy while implementing a resiliency program.