Rebecca Harris, Research Associate –
Con Edison is in its second year of producing its podcast, Plugged In. The podcast runs between 5 and 15 minutes and touches on a wide range of topics, focusing on innovative or politically relevant subjects. The goal of the podcast is to share “interesting stories and important information” with Con Edison employees and customers, according to Philip O’Brien, Assistant Director of Media Relations and executive producer of Plugged In. The podcast is housed in Media Relations, but episode topics are solicited from all Con Edison employees.
Examples of past episodes include battery storage, gas safety and defending against cyber threats. Con Edison also produces Just a Minute, a short, one-minute podcast—a “news snack,” according to O’Brien—about an easily understood topic. Recent Just a Minute episodes include a summer weather forecast and advice on creating a secure password.
Con Edison doesn’t advertise its podcast externally, but Plugged In is promoted in the employee newsletter and on information screens in Con Edison facilities.
Even without ads, Plugged In was featured in a local public radio article about super-niche podcasts. The article highlighted a “surprisingly woke” episode based on the movie Hidden Figures, during which female engineers at Con Edison spoke about their experiences with the company.
A recent episode highlights Wonder Woman. Host Sidney Alvarez, Media Manager, spoke with Customer Outreach Senior Specialist Chris Gallo about a web comic featuring DC heroes. Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League help customers spot Con Edison impostors and learn about electrical safety.
During the second half of the episode, Alvarez spoke with Nicole Leon, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, about how Con Edison cultivates a diverse workforce, and why supporting employees throughout their careers is important to the company.
Plugged In doesn’t have any formal KPIs, but it allows Con Edison to share its brand story and connect with customers in a new way. Instead of promoting programs or services, Con Edison uses the podcast to share information about new technologies, company workplace culture, or changes in the energy landscape that customers may find interesting. It isn’t just another channel for customer communication, but rather another strategy altogether.