16 Jan 2023

Elements of a Robust Communication Strategy in the Face of an Energy Crisis

Part 2 in a series

Elements of a Robust Communication Strategy in the Face of an Energy Crisis

Traditionally during the winter season, business for the energy sector remains as usual; providing round-the-clock electricity and gas services to enable our communities to live comfortably indoors despite the harsh weather outside. However, global gas supply issues are causing energy security concerns and driving up prices across many parts of the world – particularly in Europe.

Various steps are being taken to address this situation

  • USA is doubling the level of liquified natural gas (LNG) supplies into the UK over the next year to support UK and European energy security, help stabilise prices and replenish gas supplies impacted as a result of the Ukraine conflict.
  • European member states will reduce their peak-hour demand requirements by 10% over the next three months to reduce energy consumption.
  • UK has developed a ‘Demand Flexibility Service’, enabling customers to sign up with energy suppliers and be paid not use electricity appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and tumble driers across peak periods of the day. It will also implement controlled electricity disconnections to reduce demand in the event of an extreme situation.

All energy organizations need to be prepared for any eventuality during the winter season, as they are expected to respond effectively to incidents and restore their customers’ energy supply as quickly as possible. This requires robust crisis communication preparation and management.

CHECKLIST: How prepared are you to face a winter crisis?

Research shows that crisis-prepared companies face fewer emergencies. Here’s a checklist to help you determine how well you measure up.

Ensure incident procedures are up to date and fully brief staff.

Update communication material and make readily available for use with key stakeholders, for example, press releases, key messages, FAQs, operational facts and figures, website and social media posts, company photography and broadcast footage.

Ensure adequate communications staff and contractor resources are in place for continuity of delivery and decision-making throughout an incident. For example, a major electricity or gas outage can last several days and can stretch staff capabilities, if not managed appropriately. This is a story that will attract extensive media interest.

Monitor press and social media channels to assess the accuracy of news and social media coverage and determine if any adjustments are needed to provide greater clarity to your stakeholders.

Schedule a crisis communications refresher session to ensure communication and operations teams, managers and executives are prepared. A refresher will give them tools to confidently communicate with all key stakeholders–not only news reporters. This includes your customers, employees and investors.

Do you have an updated stakeholder communication plan for a winter energy crisis?
Spoken Word Communications can help you prepare for the unexpected.