With today's rapid and near-ubiquitous dissemination of news and information, your company can be vulnerable to public opinion. Whether through circumstances or poor decisions, dissatisfaction related to misunderstanding and / or poor communications can hurt your bottom line and long-term prospects.
The quickest and most absolute means for identifying and correcting customer dissatisfaction and resolving conflict is with a communications audit. A strategic communications audit is a systematic assessment of an organization’s capacity for, or performance of, essential communications practices. It determines what is working well, what is not, and what will work better if adjustments are made.
Penman PR conducted a strategic communications audit for Oncor, Texas’ largest electric delivery company, which was receiving blistering reviews of its Smart Meter campaign. We engaged in a systematic assessment of the company’s communications practices to determine how they are currently meeting the company’s goals of engaging with home owners, dismantling myths about Smart Meters for electric customers and generating positive reactions so customers would embrace, rather than reject, Smart Meters.
Our evaluation provided a “snapshot” of where the company currently stood in terms of its communication performance, and pointed to areas in which it could strengthen its performance in communicating effectively to engage audiences, help change public opinion and increase acceptance of Smart Meters as a valuable technology that has been proven to help consumers monitor energy and conserve valuable resources.
The audit consisted of interviews with internal personnel, the electric utility commission staff members, English and Spanish homeowner surveys, focus groups, facility tours and a thorough audit of the electric delivery company’s plans and materials.
In concluding the audit, Penman PR outlined a series of recommendations designed to promote, build, and maintain positive relationships with consumers in a way that resonated with them – while saving the organization more than $3 million.