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Public communications topics to be featured at Customer Connections Conference this fall

From the August 21, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published August 21, 2014

The 2014 Customer Connections Conference, Oct. 26-29, at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront in Jacksonville, Fla., will feature several sessions on public utility communications topics, tools and trends. 

In the session, "Are We Communicating Effectively with All of Our Customers," Geoff Oxnam, vice president of operations at Easton Utilities in Maryland, and Diane Brunet-Garcia, partner and vice president of Burnet-Garcia Advertising in Jacksonville, Florida, will discuss the challenge of communicating with and listening to different audiences and share tips on how to meet these challenges.

In the "Five Ways to Measure What Matters" session, Shane Santiago, vice president and digital director for St. John & Partners in Jacksonville, will discuss the latest tools to measure results for your media relations, website performance, social media and marketing efforts.

Another session, led by Tim Trudell, manager of corporate communications for the Orlando Utilities Commission, will focus on, "Crisis War Stories and Lessons Learned." Attendees will learn the dos and don’ts for crisis management and discover opportunities to bolster their utility’s reputation.

Other public communications sessions will cover creating and using compelling visual communications, taking a seat at the strategic planning table, and surviving the information avalanche. 

The conference also features a half-day preconference seminar titled, "Build Your Brand, Tell Your Story: Developing and Marketing Web & Social Media Content." In this session, attendees will learn how to build a strategic content development plan and use video and social media to broaden the utility’s reach. There are also two additional preconference seminars on managing change and customer engagement for advanced grid technologies. 

In addition to these sessions, the Customer Connections Conference offers sessions on key accounts, economic development, customer service and energy services, as well as roundtable discussions, networking breakfasts, receptions, and other opportunities to share ideas and information. Conference fees are $645 for APPA members and $1,290 for nonmembers who register before Oct. 6. 

For the complete program and to register, visit or contact Heidi Lambert (202/467-2921; 


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