1. Describe your current role and your responsibilities.
I serve as the Director of Marketing and Communication for DEC, overseeing our strategic marketing and public relations efforts and producing engaging editorial for a variety of communications outlets.
2. In general, how has being a Certified Cooperative Communicator (CCC) helped you in your work and in your career?
I started the process of earning my certification after working at my Co-op for a few years. I understood the basics but preparing for my CCC exam helped to broaden my understanding of the overall utility industry and why electric co-ops are so unique.
3. What’s one thing about being a CCC that has made a difference for you?
Before earning my certification, I didn't really spend much time planning. Our public relations and communications efforts were largely reactionary or based on what I was interested in producing. Post certification, I started spending a lot of time planning themes, content and organizing our annual marketing efforts around goals that would help to fulfill our Co-op's strategic initiatives.
4. What is something you’ve approached differently or had greater success with because of what you learned from CCC?
After becoming a CCC, I worked with our executive team to develop a more strategic approach to increasing our ACSI score. Using member survey data, we shaped our marketing and communications campaigns around topics that increased member identity and engagement. In 2019, our Co-op was given the highest ACSI score in the nation among electric cooperatives (I think we tied with one other co-op).
5. What advice would you give someone considering the Certified Cooperative Communicator (CCC) Program?
Since the program is not taught in a classroom setting, you're going to have to invest the time and energy into studying and reviewing all the materials. It's going to take a lot of work, but the knowledge and skills you acquire along the way will make it worth your time.