Nashville Electric Service (NES) has earned two awards of merit from the American Public Power Association (APPA) for its communications campaigns involving both print and social media. NES is one of 24 utilities across the country to be recognized for outstanding communications initiatives at the APPA Customer Connections Conference in Austin, Texas.
2014 NES Annual Report
Print Award of Merit
The 2014 Annual Report titled “1,000 Strong. A Single Vision.” commemorates NES’ 75th anniversary, while spotlighting the commitment of its 1,000 employees and the utility’s current financial position.
Within the report, multiple stories and perspectives are shared to demonstrate NES’ impact on the region. Topics range from the modernization of infrastructure to the heroic nature of linemen who risk their lives to the employees who routinely show their dedication to the community. The report focuses attention on a year-long pledge by NES to give back to the community through 75 acts of service.
The primary audience responded favorably to the report which was approved by the NES Power Board. Their enthusiasm is summed up best by NES Board Vice Chair Irma Paz-Bernstein who remarked, “Beneath all the numbers, stats…is great passion, it jumps right at me as I read…the intention is well presented and delivered. Great work.” In addition, employees were energized by the year-long pledge to give back and stayed committed to completing all 75 acts of service and more.
Social Media Award of Merit
In February 2015, weather forecasters predicted the worst winter storm to hit Middle Tennessee in years. Dubbed the “Icepocalypse” by media representatives and social media users, customers braced for large,wide-spread outages during frigid temperatures.
To NES’ credit, the utility had less than 10,000 customers out at any one time, and 87 percent of its customer base experienced no interruption. By capturing simple statistics from its storm response efforts, NES was able to clearly communicate the near-heroic efforts of its employees with the Icepocalypse Infographic. Crews restored on average 43 outages every hour despite the challenging weather conditions. And, 28,000 calls were processed through the NES call center.
NES used the infographic to further communicate the overarching message that successful storm restoration comes down to preparedness including tree trimming, strong infrastructure, quick response efforts and customers heeding warning.
Approximately, 3,000 people on Facebook viewed the infographic, which is 260 percent higher than our average post. It garnered 171 likes, comments and shares. On Twitter, the infographic earned more than 4,700 impressions and 239 total engagements, including nine retweets and eight favorites.
APPA hosts the annual awards competition to encourage excellence in communications within the utility industry. This year’s newly expanded awards format featured four separate entry categories including print, social media, video and web. Awards were given to utilities that showed ingenuity and creativity in copy, design, financial data, graphics, organization, social media engagement, video editing, web layout and interactivity, as well as telling the utility’s story.