Municipal Utilities Communicate with Customers Rain or Shine

Utilities meet at national conference to discuss communication, customer service

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 22, 2012 – “Municipal electric utilities must prepare to be the first and best source of information in any situation, rain or shine,” said Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) Assistant General Manager Mark McCain at the American Public Power Association’s Customer Connections Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., this afternoon.

“Transparency, accountability and a personal relationship with our customers are some of public power’s most important advantages,” said McCain. “Customers depend on us for timely, trustworthy information, so we must plan ahead to meet that need in any situation.”

The 75-minute session was titled, “Anatomy of a Crisis Communication Plan.” Topics included: 1) making the case for crisis communication planning, 2) elements of a crisis communication plan, 3) scenario and message planning, and 4) practicing the plan. Lessons were based on McCain’s experience as FMPA’s Assistant General Manager, Member Services, Human Resources and Public Relations, as well as a variety of industry case studies and best practices research.

Customer Connections is a three-day workshop for community-owned utility professionals in the areas of customer service, economic development, energy services, key accounts and public communications. This year’s conference features more than 20 concurrent sessions and guest speakers from utilities across the country.

Florida’s public power community is well-represented at the conference, as Florida Municipal Electric Association’s Cheryl Anderson, Fort Pierce Utilities Authority’s Bill Abramowicz, Gainesville Regional Utilities’ Dan Clark and Kathy Viehe, and JEA’s Ted Austin are all scheduled to present sessions at the conference.

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Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) is a wholesale power company owned by 31 municipal electric utilities. FMPA provides economies of scale in power generation and related services to support community-owned electric utilities. The members of FMPA serve approximately two million Floridians.

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