Quick Start Guide Natural Gas Utilities
SECTION 02 : BUILDING YOUR PROGRAM
Timing For each topic in your program, determine the best or most appropriate timing for the delivery of the message. For topics such as snow and ice removal, the timing is obvious. For programs that are a year-round concern, timing may be linked to events or activities that call attention to the message, such as appliance connector inspections when moving into a new home. Other messages may need to be delivered at several times during the year and should be planned at regular frequencies. The timing and trigger for all elements in your program should be documented as a communications calendar within your program. Frequency The frequency with which messages are delivered needs to be based on local factors. However, the determined frequency should not be less than that called for by federal, state, and local regulations or industry consensus standards. Additional Considerations Messages should always promote a specific contact, such as a utility emergency number or 911, for your area. Messages can be expanded from reporting odors to a more comprehensive “sight, sound, and smell” approach that is recommended by the American Petroleum Institute and incorporated by reference into federal pipeline safety regulations. Along with the core message, you may also consider providing background information on the distribution, safety, and reliability of natural gas. How this message is conveyed is up to you. Depending on the needs and preferences of your audiences, you might use fear, humor, persuasion, or some other approach to reach stakeholders in the most effective manner.
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