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It Takes All of Us to Keep the Lights On

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By Amy Strecker, on May 26, 2010

This summer I’m working in the Corporate Communications Department at Progress Energy.* Progress Energy appeals to me because of the vast array of communications the organization engages in by maintaining contact with employees, investors, customers, government officials and local communities. As someone interested in serving as a Public Information Officer (PIO) after graduation, the variety of communicative strategies here provides excellent learning opportunities. Because the weather often dictates the communications agenda for a large power company, this summer can offer firsthand experience in well-coordinated communications plans in response to urgent public need – a scenario familiar to PIOs across the state.

(Pictured below: Linemen respond to the monumental ice storm that blanketed the Asheville area last December.  Corporate Communications won two awards for their use of social media in the wake of massive power outages.)

The Corporate Communications Department employees nearly 50 people between six different divisions. I report within Employee Communications and also anticipate working with Interactive Communications and Corporate Community Relations while I’m here. Before coming to UNC, I benefited from Progress Energy’s generous support of Teach For America in Eastern North Carolina and have been impressed with their commitment to giving back to the communities they serve. Employee engagement in philanthropic initiatives spans the large range of company employees who actively participate in the employee giving program. I appreciate an investor-owned utility dedicated to giving across the organization, and in the upcoming weeks I will be working on a project involving an employee e-giving campaign.

The company has an extensive internship program with its own activity agenda throughout the summer. This weekend I’m attending the opening gala for the Thomas Day exhibit at the NC Museum of History — the company is a major sponsor of the exhibit and recognizes Day as an exemplary model of innovation for all North Carolinians. June 3 the interns are taking a field trip to the Harris Nuclear Plant in New Hill, NC, and I’m looking forward to learning more about how the plant generates nuclear power.

*The views expressed on this blog posting are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

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