I love fall. But it’s not the bounty of pumpkin spice [insert anything here] or costumed kids that make it fun. It’s watching peers across the country take time to celebrate how community-owned power makes us More Powerful Together.
October is National Cooperative Month. News flash: I’m a co-op geek. My daughter belongs to a preschool co-op. I’m a member of a credit union. We eat co-op food whenever I can find it. And I’m proud to work at Pioneer, a communications co-op serving some of the finest #UtilityPioneers in the country. I even have a video sharing why co-ops are cool. Fair warning: cooperation is addictive.
But co-ops aren’t the only folks celebrating this month. On Sunday, more than 2,000 community-powered utilities kick off Public Power Week.
As public power employees, many of us forget our business model is amazing (and rare). Take advantage of October as a time to share your story and help your staff and consumer-members get excited about community-owned power!
Power Party Ideas
- Start with Staff
Are your employees proud to be locally owned and controlled? Do they understand why community-owned power is special? Host a breakfast for staff where you celebrate with local, preferably co-op food, and a short video or program about how powerful your utility can be when you team up with members.
[box] Sample Co-op Food Brands: Blue Diamond, Sunkist, Welch’s, Organic Valley, Tillamook Creamery, Cabot Creamery, Land O’Lakes, and Equal Exchange.[/box]
- Meet and Greets
Invite the community to visit your offices to learn more about your operation and meet staff members. You can also flip this idea and take your staff into the community.
Have a Public Power Pizza Night at a local restaurant, or Coffee with the Co-op meetings at local coffee stands.
- Spread the news
Many community newspapers accept guest columns. Why not use this channel to celebrate, too? You can use one of our More Powerful Together editorials (we just added a new one!). The American Public Power Association (APPA) also offers a draft newspaper column (PDF).
- Social Media Takeover
Have a lineworker crew share what it takes to power the community with a social media channel takeover one day. On another day, let an energy efficiency advisor take over your social channels. On a third day, feature a consumer service representative.
[box] Suggested hashtags: #PublicPowerWeek, #MorePowerfulTogether, #CoopMonth, #ByTheCommunity and #ForTheCommunity [/box]
- Co-ops supporting co-ops:
Are there other types of co-ops in your community? Identify co-ops near you and encourage your members and employees to #ShopCoop. Reach out to credit unions, food, and farmer-owned co-ops to organize a community #GoCoop day in October.
One of the best things about public power is that you never have to start from scratch. We all share ideas and resources. Here are some handy ideas to get your party started.
Public Power Week | October 6-12, 2019
APPA offers members social media posts and graphics, coloring sheets, ad templates, news releases, editorials, sample proclamations, and more at PublicPower.org/event/public-power-week
National Cooperative Month
- The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association offers a planning guide, social media content, and an editorial for members.
- The National Cooperative Business Association provides social media graphics, celebration ideas, writing samples, and custom logos at CoopMonth.coop.
Have a great idea for celebrating community power? Share it in the comments section below!