When old media is the new media

Web 2.0 sites like Facebook and Twitter have made it relatively easy for customers to interact directly and publically with businesses to get responses to their questions.  Social media has fostered a renaissance in this interactivity, so it is easy to forget what things were like before it.

Unless, of course, you still listen to radio.

On Tuesday September 29, we hosted a local AM Talk radio show from the Albany Storm Room from 5:30-10am on station Talk1300, hosted by Paul Vandenburgh.

Patrick Stella has been working with Vandenburgh and Talk1300 for many years to help foster a good working relationship with the station.  Starting from a time when the station had been very critical of us following a severe ice storm in 2008, we have reached a point where we have worked collaboratively on outreach to our customers. With a very loyal listener-base among Albany political leaders, both local and state, this presents an excellent opportunity to interact with and assist our customers with answers and solutions.

During the morning show, Overhead Electric Operations Director Dave Ethier and Regional Director Bill Flaherty were interviewed with Patrick on a range of subjects. Part of the discussion included how we have invested in our upstate NY infrastructure by way of our Connect 21 initiative, and also how we respond to electric and gas outages from both an operational vantage and from our community outreach, which aids in meeting our customers’ needs during longer outages.

Radio presents an excellent platform to stage “real-time” Q&A sessions with actual stakeholders, and this was no exception.  There are two clips for you to listen to, one with Bill Flaherty and the other during a portion of the show where customer calls are taken live and answered by Dave Ethier and Patrick Stella. Each call is answered and followed-up on afterwards as needed to provide resolution to a customer concern.

It was also a great opportunity to leverage the power of social media to “live tweet” the event and direct listeners to the show:

This was both a great community and external relations opportunity, presenting us with a platform to once again talk about the hard work our crews do each and every day. This is the third time this year we have been on this show and answered customer questions. The opportunity evolved from the work our Strategic Communications team has done with electric operations and our jurisdiction.


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