CEO Q&A: Renae Conley, Entergy Louisiana

Entergy Louisiana's Renae Conley speaks with Erica Morris about comms challenges facing energy companies and where she turns to for advice

Working for an energy company must present a number of public affairs challenges. How do you navigate them?

Conley: Energy issues are certainly on everyone's mind. Especially with the economy, it's a challenge to make sure we're communicating with customers about our energy plans, and how we're working to provide energy services efficiently and effectively. Ultimately, it's about being transparent about the programs, initiatives, and solutions that we're working on.

How do you create that transparency?

Conley: Our team is constantly working together to make sure our commitment to effective communication is being met. Engaging with customers through our PR team and service reps and listening to what those customers have to say creates a conversation. That's an important part of any communications strategy.

When you're met with a particular challenge, who do you seek out for advice?

Conley: It's very important that you have a good relationship with the people you work with. I've learned from personal experience that the input you get from colleagues is crucial in any working environment. I work with company executives and officers, and I also work with our communications team to get input. It's important that you have a number of opinions from which you can draw ideas.

Is there ever such a thing as having too many ideas?

Conley: No. There isn't a limit to how many ideas I can listen to. Of course, there may be a limit to how many of those ideas I can put into action, but not how many I'll listen to.

How do your marketing and communications teams work together?

Conley: Our departments meet on a regular basis, and I think it's important that though two teams may work separately, they also have clear communication with one another. This is crucial to ensure a good exchange of ideas. It's also imperative to helping get across one message.

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