14:16 PM

Perspective: Member Communication

Chip Jakins

It may be hard to believe, but until 1985 our members read their own meters. Here’s how it worked: The cooperative would send a postcard to each member, asking them to write down their monthly energy use on it. Members would then send these postcards back to Jackson EMC and they’d receive a bill. 

Today, meters are read remotely and you can get a text or email when your bill statement is ready or wait until a printed copy arrives in the mail. Technology has enabled us to communicate with you in many ways. We’re constantly looking for the best ways to communicate with you that fits your life. 

Your feedback has been important in shaping our communication improvements. We’ve made changes and implemented new services based on feedback from members who have participated in our surveys and focus groups. Some of these include relaunching our website and revamping content  in JEMCO News. The MyJacksonEMC website and mobile app have become valuable tools for accessing information about your energy consumption, marking a significant leap forward from the old days of sending postcards by mail. 

There are many ways we communicate with members. This publication, JEMCO News, is just one way. According to our latest member survey, 90% of our members, including you, have reported reading certain sections of JEMCO News. This publication has been a great way to provide you with energy-saving tips, let you know how your co-op is involved in the community and share information to keep you and your family safe. JEMCO News recently received a national award from fellow cooperative communicators, which you can read about in this issue. 

We also have a great website (jacksonemc.com) designed to answer the most often-asked questions. The website has it all, from information about  rebates to electric vehicles. When the news needs to get to you in a hurry, we have news releases, email and social media. The media helps us communicate with members and the general public during major storms. We’ve seen our social media audience grow by more than 60% over the last 5 years. Social media is an especially valuable communication resource during storms. You can follow us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram and LinkedIn.

In that survey, members told us that email is one of your top preferences for receiving information from Jackson EMC. In the past couple of years, we’ve been using email to share important information with members about anticipated major storms. We also send a “welcome” email to new members of the co-op to welcome you to the Jackson EMC family. Communication is important to me and I take pride in hearing from members. 

Feel free to email me at chip@jacksonemc. com with any questions or feedback about our communication.