Alumnus Rafael Sulit Applies Lessons From the Strategic Communications Program to National Grid

In Intelligent Utility, Strategic Communications alumnus Rafael Sulit, U.S. brand strategy director for National Grid, speaks about how the organization uses social media as a listening tool, and how the channel has helped them and their customers with regard to storm preparedness.

During Hurricane Irene in 2011, National Grid used social media as a customer service channel. Not only did they listen to the concerns of their customers, but they also used these platforms to broadcast urgent information about outages and repairs. In 2012, they used the previous year’s techniques and refined them for their “stay connected” campaign; they prompted their followers to stay tuned for social media updates from National Grid in order to appropriately prepare for the upcoming hurricane, not just to cope with damages once the storm struck.

Sulit tells Intelligent Utility, “That proved very successful. And that campaign was the key platform for our social media activities during Sandy and Nemo. It’s served as a solid foundation for our strategy.”

He says that, as they refine their social media approach, they continue to use the latest tools and best practices. To ease the burden of continual messaging, they employ a social media suite in order to better manage their communication process. To more easily aggregate messages to and from followers, they use hashtags including #gridcentral and #powertoserve.

Sulit acknowledges that social media is merely one element of National Grid’s approach: “Social media is a great tool, and we think of it holistically in an ecosystem that connects with other channels,” he says. “But before growth and before anything else, we’re not walking away from amplifying the basics---namely to perform well with safety and storm preparedness.”

Read more about Sulit’s social media insights in Intelligent Utility.