CASE STUDY

Planning and strategy for
non-profit marketing communications

When an NC-based electric co-op needed help planning and executing an ongoing member communication campaign, FatCat Strategies stepped in to light the way. 

PEMC logo

Editorial Calendar

Graphic Design

Digital Communication

Client

Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative based in Hillsborough, North Carolina that serves 31,000 members across six North Carolina counties.

Challenge

Like many non-profits, Piedmont has a huge communications responsibility and challenge. From the beginning, electric co-ops have been about two things: providing power and connecting with the communities they serve. But rapid advancements in technology have pushed co-ops to change the way they accomplish these two key missions.

On the operations side, things like the smart grid, renewables, new government regulations, and cyber security concerns have created complexities that the industry has never seen before. On the communications side, co-ops must be prepared to explain those complexities using new communication tools that are changing just as fast.

Just a few years ago, most co-ops communicated exclusively through a member newsletter and bill inserts. Now, modern co-ops must juggle a growing list of print and digital communication tools including email, websites, social media, community events, annual meetings, mobile apps and print publications.

Piedmont realized that planning and staffing this effort was more than they wanted to manage internally and that’s where FatCat’s blend of creative professionals and marketing strategists were able to help. 

Strategy & Planning

non-profit communication editorial calendar

Everything starts with the editorial calendar

At the heart of our partnership with Piedmont is our master planning tool, the editorial calendar. It’s our shared roadmap that outlines where we want to go and how we’re going to get there. This simple but effective tool is a combination of big picture strategy and tactical deadlines. For more than four years, it’s helped us streamline and simplify, collaborate on priorities, work efficiently and meet every deadline. 

Print

Annual Reports, Newsletters, Bill Inserts & Magazine Cover Wraps

As part of our ongoing partnership with Piedmont, we manage and produce a list of recurring print projects including a monthly newsletter, annual reports, magazine cover wraps, bill inserts and more.

For these projects, the scope of our work includes design, copywriting, custom illustrations, infographics and full project management.

non-profit cover wrap

Magazine cover wrap (cover)

non-profit bill inserts

Bill inserts

non-profit cover wrap

Magazine cover wrap (inside)

non-profit cover wrap

Magazine cover wrap (inside)

non-profit cover wrap

Magazine cover wrap (cover)

non-profit cover wrap

Magazine cover wrap (back cover)

non-profit annual report

Inside look at an Annual Report

Digital

Video-based social media campaign

Piedmont has an ongoing responsibility to educate its members about energy efficiency, especially in colder months. But, the organization has found that traditional communication tools like newsletters weren’t getting the message across. So, as part of Piedmont’s goal to transition into more digital and social media, we created a short Facebook campaign to highlight easy things utility customers can do to save money and energy.

Each Facebook post in this campaign was accompanied by a whimsical, 10-second video that was designed draw attention to the informational content and links provided in the post.

E-Newsletters + Digital Communications

For years, Piedmont Electric’s primary means of member communication was through monthly print newsletters and bill inserts. Now, an increasing number of Piedmont’s members pay their bills online and have opted out of direct mail. But, a significant portion of members still prefer traditional communication methods.

Like many modern organizations, Piedmont needed to find an efficient way to leverage a growing number of digital outlets without duplicating effort or losing the overall message focus.


FatCat has been able to help Piedmont enforce overall message consistency, expand into new media, and stay on budget.

non-profit digital cover wrap

Digital version of Annual Report

non-profit e-newsletter

E-newsletter

Susan Headshot

From the client

“Editorial meetings with FatCat have made a huge difference in our communications planning. We always keep ourselves at least two months ahead of our publication deadlines, but I still know that we can make a quick change if we have to. FatCat’s combination of planning and flexibility makes for smooth execution of our publications. Plus, all of our stuff looks fabulous!”

Susan Cashion
Vice President, Chief Compliance and Administrative Officer
Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation

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