Calling all outage communications thought leaders: Best Practices Award deadline is just a few weeks away

By Allison Herdic, Industry Researcher –

Pertinent. Intentional. Thoughtful.

All of the above describe Hydro Ottawa’s approach to outage communications, especially in times of crisis.

Dan Séguin, Hydro Ottawa’s Manager of Media and Public Affairs, recently shared insightful glimpses into the utility’s outage communications strategy during a Chartwell webinar. Throughout the event, Séguin revealed how the utility strives to connect with its customers through methodical preparation, mindful execution and post-event analysis.

To engage stakeholders when the lights go out, Hydro Ottawa’s communicators embrace a digital mindset, according to Séguin. The utility distributes key messaging via its website, outage center, social media channels and apps, live streaming and pre-recorded videos, virtual assistants and media updates. Through this approach, the utility is working toward its goal of communicating early and often.

Hydro Ottawa received Chartwell’s 2018 Silver Outage Communications Award for mid-sized utilities due to these efforts and more. As a result of its diligence, the utility has garnered increased customer engagement and bolstered its credibility and trust with customers. More in-depth details on Hydro Ottawa’s outage communications tactics can be found in Chartwell’s recently published case study, Best Practices – Outage Communications – Continuous Strategic Improvements – Hydro Ottawa – 2019, available to members of Chartwell’s Premier service.

Has your utility also employed a forward-thinking approach to communicating with customers in times of storms, or even blue-sky outage events? Now’s the time to submit your entry for Chartwell’s 2019 Outage Communications Best Practices Awards.

Please don’t delay! The deadline for entries is Wednesday, Feb. 13.

Please visit Chartwell’s Outage Communications Conference website to learn more about submitting an entry and download an award entry form. Awards will be presented at the conference, which will be held in Chicago June 6-7. Not only will Gold Award winners present their stories at the conference, but utility communicators from across North America will convene to share ideas, brainstorm, network and problem-solve with likeminded peers.

We welcome your questions about submitting an entry! Please contact Suzanne Haggerty with award-related questions. Good luck!

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