Six Great Ideas from StoryConnect

In September, more than 50 utility communicators gathered in Chattanooga for the annual StoryConnect conference. The conference focuses on equipping telcos and electric utilities to tell their stories, while giving them ideas to take back to their organizations. For those who missed the conference, here are six top ideas shared at the conference:

Good local content and ad revenue can help your TV product.
Panelists from ETC, SkyLine Membership Corporation and Viamedia discussed the value of local content as a differentiator between you and your competitors. While local sports are by far the most popular programs, panelists reported good success with cooking shows as well. Local ad insertion either in your local programming or on national networks can generate meaningful revenue for telcos and great exposure for local businesses.

Social Media doesn’t have to be scary.
Seated around a faux campfire, attendees shared their scary social media experiences, from outages to angry customers. In the end, many left with the conclusion that while everyone is still trying to figure things out, being a part of the social media conversation is a key opportunity for marketers to manage the perception of their brands.

Print and email may not be new, but they are still very effective marketing tools.
Micro-targeted social media and online ads can be valuable tools for telco marketers, but print products and email newsletters still drive big numbers. Don’t sleep on tried-and-true channels like print and email.

Better photography takes some work, but it’s worth it.
By keeping a clean background, working out the right lighting and properly posing subjects in your photos, the images can better tell your story. A good photograph tells the viewer where to focus his or her attention, which can be especially important in marketing photos for press releases, company newsletters and social media posts.

Go where your customers are …
Data from programs offered by companies such as Calix and CrowdFiber can tell you where your customers are and how they want to use your network. That type of data can and should shape the way you market your services.

… and give them what they want.
The customers may not always be right, but they are usually right about how they want to use your service. If your customers demand something — like when SkyLine Membership Corporation’s customers demanded weekend-only broadband service — try to make it available. SkyLine CEO Jimmy Blevins shared how his company created “Weekender Internet” for people with vacation homes.

The way Chick-fil-A sees its brand.
Sara Storck, brand strategy manager for Chick-fil-A, outlined how she sees a company’s brand. Your brand matches who you are with what you do. Details make all the difference for a brand. For Chick-fil-A, that means things as small as fresh flowers on the table and red straws in the cups. For a telco, that can mean everything from employee uniforms to logos to the decor in your lobby.