Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC), headquartered in Hooker, Oklahoma, prides itself on its ability to identify with members through local connections. Recently, TCEC demonstrated this commitment through its Co-op Connectionsâ program.
When JuliAnn Graham, TCEC’s communication manager, and Leslie Kraich, TCEC’s member relations coordinator, attended the CONNECT 2018 conference, they were excited to learn about the new Co-op Connections features. Since their return to the office, they have used these program enhancements to spark member interest throughout their community.
Using the “Go Beyond the Card” assets available from Touchstone Energy, TCEC created two customized, double-sided fliers promoting the upgraded Co-op Connections program: one for their member-owners (shown below), and another version aimed toward recruiting local businesses.
“We love the high-quality graphics. The media and templates are so easy to take and make our own,” said JuliAnn.
As for the upgrades to the program, JuliAnn told us, “We like how the contract for registering as a new business partner is rolled into the connections.coop website. We always like to engage with local businesses, and everything Touchstone Energy has offered has been so helpful.”
TCEC is no stranger to excelling in member communications. In fact, it has been recognized with numerous NRECA Spotlight on Excellence awards. The co-op won a gold award for its Co-op Connections entry in the Best Total Communications program category and a silver for best event in 2018.
According to JuliAnn, “TCEC really tries to emphasize the cooperative difference and the concept of member identity.” This attitude even carries over to their messaging. According to her, “We don’t call it a discount card; we call it a ‘membership card with benefits.’”
For other co-ops looking for advice on improving member and business relationships, Juliann recommends, “Always check the Co-op Connections section of Cooperative.com for the latest collateral and click on those Touchstone emails and links! Take a look and see what’s out there before you try and reinvent the wheel.”
While the updates to the connections.coop website have made it easier to engage with business partners online, JuliAnn also recommends following-up with these local businesses directly to manage these relationships with a personal touch.
We hope you find that the new additions and upgrades to the Co-op Connections Program, as well as the upcoming Co-op Connections Day on October 5, are great opportunities to emphasize the Cooperative Difference and increase member engagement. If you have any questions about the program, “ask Scott Bialick!”