It’s been an eventful year at WordSouth in three areas: being acquired by Pioneer Utility Resources, being honored by the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing companies in America and by helping electric utilities enter the broadband business.
WordSouth is a content marketing agency focusing exclusively on rural broadband and electric providers. Founded in 1996 in Rainsville, Alabama, the company has grown to a staff of more than 30 designers, writers, account managers, digital specialists, trainers, strategists and broadband experts. After gaining strength from being acquired in June, the agency is set to help even more rural providers communicate with their communities and market their services this year and beyond.
Combination Means Richer Offerings, Enhanced Commitment to Serving Community-Owned Utilities
Pioneer Utility Resources, a communications and marketing cooperative with more than 60 years of experience in the electric industry, has acquired WordSouth, a marketing and communications agency with particular expertise in rural broadband marketing and a full suite of agency services.
Leaders of the two companies saw the move as an opportunity to enhance the offerings of both organizations, making them better partners for the utilities they serve. The transaction was completed June 30.
“WordSouth has built a strong agency the past 24 years, one that operates with the same mission as the utilities it serves,” said Pioneer CEO Michael Shepard. “Its team of communicators shares the same commitment to excellence and service that Pioneer’s employees exhibit every day. This acquisition will deliver synergies in geography, focus and offerings that will make us all stronger in our mission.”
WordSouth named to Inc 5000 list
Earlier this month, Inc. magazine announced that it has ranked WordSouth on its list of America’s fastest-growing companies.
The magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list — which has included the likes of Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp and Zillow over the years — is the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fast-growth businesses.
“We serve rural broadband providers and consumer-owned electric utilities, and for a company with such a narrow focus to make the Inc. 5000 list requires two key ingredients,” said WordSouth co-founder Stephen V. Smith. “One is talented employees who are dedicated to our mission, and the other is progressive clients who trust us to help them improve life and expand opportunities in their communities. We are blessed with both.”
Utilities entering the broadband business find a trusted partner in WordSouth
Entering the broadband business can be a natural extension of an electric utility’s commitment to serving its members. But to do so successfully requires a heightened focus on branding, marketing and communication.
You have to ensure employees and members alike fully grasp the value of this investment and know what to expect from the buildout ahead. Otherwise, it’s easy to end up with confused, frustrated or angry members. With a strong strategy for clear communication, however, you can enjoy a successful rollout marked by widespread approval and adoption.