One of the most effective tools employed to effectively communicate with electric cooperative member-consumers are the monthly magazines published and distributed by the statewide trade associations throughout the country.
The Colorado Rural Electric Association editorial staff is hosting a group of fellow statewide magazine editors in Boulder, Colo., this week (July 29-31) for their annual education institute – a chance to generate new ideas, hear from fellow professionals in the field and share best practices and recognize work excellence with the annual Willie Awards.
Mona Neeley, long-time editor of CREA’s Colorado Country Life magazine, was instrumental in bringing the annual event to her home state. “We have brought together editors, writers, graphic design artists and advertising sales people from the electric co-op statewide associations across the country,” Neeley said. “The program is designed to help keep statewide communicators in top form, enabling us to even better tell the co-op story.”
Tri-State provided its support by participating as one of the institute’s sponsors, which has drawn nearly 70 attendees representing more than 30 states.
“In our unique position of serving member co-ops in multiple states, we work closely with the statewide organizations in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Nebraska on a number of different communications efforts,” said Tri-State communications manager Jim Van Someren. “We also advertise regularly in each of their monthly magazines as a means of effectively reaching our member co-ops’ member-consumers.”
The three-day program agenda is organized in three different tracks, offering specialized training sessions in the areas of advertising, writing/editing and graphic design – “three legs of the stool that are vital to every one of our publications,” according to Neeley.
In addition to the work in the classroom, Neeley and her CREA coworkers arranged for outings to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park and the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison.