What Matters to Young Members?

Posted on May 2, 2019


NRECA, Touchstone Energy launch youth-focused communication tools

In the midst of packing for next week’s CONNECT conference—NRECA‘s national marketing, communication, and member services conference for electric co-op staff—we got some exciting news.

For the last year NRECA and Touchstone Energy (a national electric co-op brand) have been working on engagement tactics for consumer-members ages 25 to 45. New tools and supporting research debuted today (NRECA members only). Not a member? This video shares resource highlights.

We’re diving in and can’t wait to hear more about this exciting effort during CONNECT next week! To prepare, we read the fresh research. Since some of our utility members are not electric co-ops, we wanted to share some of NRECA’s insights.

 

Survey Says

How old consumer-members are—and what life experiences they are juggling—impacts how they feel about their power provider. We blogged about this in January. Their level of happiness with you may not directly hinge on the level or kind of service you provide.

Touchstone Energy found consumer-members in the 25-44 age range are the least satisfied age group. They often lack a member identity.

To find out how to connect with this age group, NRECA conducted focus groups in Washington, Idaho, Kansas, Ohio, Missouri and Mississippi to learn how these younger members view and interact with electric co-ops. The study found:

  • What do they value about public power? Local ownership and community focus matter the most.
  • Stop relying your history. Instead, focus on what you are doing for consumer-members today and how you are preparing for the future.
  • We offer products and services they want, but they do not know about them.
  • Think digital first for reaching younger consumer-members, but print is still valued. This includes statewide magazines such as Ruralite and Florida Currents.
  • Personal attention and connections matter.

These are only a few of the helpful focus group insights. Want to connect to young members? Here’s the takeaway that hit home for me:

Meet them where they are. Be present in the community, share news on the digital platforms they use and understand their stage of life, too. For example, family-friendly activities increase engagement.

 

More Powerful Together: We All Win

Many of NRECA’s findings mirror what we heard during our focus groups for More Powerful Together. We’re releasing a new set of More Powerful Together tools later this month. We’ll be sure to use this fresh research to fine-tune our award-winning consumer engagement campaign.

Next week we join NWPPA in accepting More Powerful Together’s Gold Spotlight on Excellence award for Best Total Communications Program.

More Powerful Together is quickly becoming an example across the public power nation of how to connect and engage consumer-members. This award honors the work each of you have done to use these free and effective tools to connect with consumer-members. Congratulations!

Coming to CONNECT? Stop by our table in Houston, Texas, or visit us in the Spotlight on Excellence Café as we celebrate this win together. We’ll have some exciting news to share! And stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter channels for more learning moments from #CoopsCONNECT.

 

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