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NWPPA—The Line
Thursday, July 30, 2020

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Creating a Communications Plan – Keeping it REAListic

Make Your Comms Plan Realistic 

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for utilities—along with all organizations—to have a communications plan. However, though creating an effective communications plan is critical for public utilities, it can seem like a daunting endeavor. In fact, many utilities have not yet formally tackled this important function.
Luckily, there are realistic steps you can take to do it in a thoughtful, strategic way. NWPPA instructor Monica Shovlin is here to help with her course, Creating a Communications Plan – Keeping it REAListic. Shovlin, owner of MCShovlin Communications LLC, has over 30 years of experience in public relations, including time at Eugene Water & Electric Board. Her specialties include strategic, integrated marketing communication plans; message development; and media, community, customer, and employee relations.
This four-session, interactive online workshop covers all the essential elements of communications planning for public utilities. Communications teams, as well as management, can benefit from this series. The 90-minute sessions are scheduled for August 18, 20, 25, and 27.

Upcoming Education Opportunities

Check out NWPPA's complete class offerings in the eCatalog of Events. Click on the links below for more information and registration. Don't miss these upcoming training events:



Julie Estey, Director of External Affairs, Matanuska Electric Association (Palmer, Alaska)
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Julie formerly served as the executive director of the Yukon Quest, which runs 1,000 miles of remote back country and is billed as the toughest sled dog race in the world. Less known than the Iditarod, but far more grueling, fewer than 400 people have participated in the international race! She stepped down from her position to compete in the Yukon Quest in 2008 with her 14-dog team amongst a field of only 24 mushers. A torn ACL took her out of that race, but she is determined to finish it someday.
For the past seven years Julie has worked for MEA. She refers to herself as a working mom with other responsibilities, but admits that the sport holds her heart and she will return to mushing when her children are older. For now, she works to continuously integrate dogs into her life. At one point she owned and cared for 18 sled dogs. Today, Timmy, a 16-year-old Alaskan huskie who was her alpha male on the team, remains with her as well as a black lab named Trek that she recently rescued from the highway.
Know a public power employee who is doing something special in your community? It could be your utility’s historian, your longest-tenured employee, your newest employee, someone who has a very unique position at your utility—it can be any employee because all public power employees are special and deserve recognition! To highlight an employee in The Line, send a high-res photo and no more than 200 words to
Post your organizations open positions and view the most current job opportunities posted to NWPPA's website.
Reach out to NWPPA's almost 4,000 associate member contacts that supply goods and services to the utility industry and might be interested in responding to your utility RFP/RFQ.
Photo provided by Michael Rovito, CCC.


A boat floats through Homer Electric Association territory in Homer, Alaska. Photo provided by Michael Rovito, CCC.
Each week The Line’s masthead highlights a different photo from a member utility. To have your photo considered, simply send a high-res horizontal photo with the location and/or cutline to
COVID-19 Information
Get the latest information about how we and our members are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic at
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