Building a broadband network is not enough.
Without a plan to tell your story, market your services and train your people, your fiber buildout will likely never reach its full potential.
Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020
Noon ET / 9 a.m. PT
Tell Your Story
Electric cooperatives have a long history of bringing vital service to rural residents. But the past year marks a watershed moment for many of those cooperatives who are now offering a second critical service to their members — broadband. This 45-minute session will help you refine your story to deliver maximum impact by focusing on your audience. Presenter Jim Keiffer will look at how to tell that story to get your employees on board and how to set expectations for everyone involved.
12:45 p.m. ET / 9:45 a.m. PT
Market Your Services
Understanding your market, establishing your offerings and selling those services to members are all critical to achieving your desired take rate — but they’re also objectives where most electric cooperatives lack experience. In this second session of the RDOF Cooperative Broadband Summit, presenter Andy Johns will walk through branding, packages, competition and the all-important product launch.
1:30 p.m. ET / 10:30 a.m. PT
Train Your People
WordSouth firmly believes your first audience is always your employees. After a short lunch break, presenter Carrie Huckeby will lead attendees through a discussion about how to prepare your team to offer a new service. This session will focus on customer experience with an eye on defining the customer journey and minimizing customer effort.
About the host
WordSouth is a 24-year-old content marketing agency working exclusively with rural electric and telecommunications providers. Based in Alabama with a team across several southern states, we’ve helped more than 30 broadband providers communicate during their fiber buildouts.
As a consultant, Jim brings decades of experience in the energy industry to WordSouth. As the former vice president of marketing for TVA and president of Keiffer Energy and Management Consulting, he focuses on strategic planning, marketing and customer service, energy efficiency programs, and overall management consulting. At TVA, he was responsible for growing the Energy Right program and TVA’s Energy Services Co. He also served as general manager of the Middle Tennessee Customer Service District and general manager of customer strategy and support for TVA.
Before starting at TVA in 1997, Jim served as vice president of marketing, vice president of supply and vice president of human resources for subsidiaries of CNG, a former $3 billion integrated natural gas company that is now part of Dominion Resources.
Jim lives in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee and enjoys rooting for all of the Nashville sports teams. He is the father of four adult children and Pops to one grandson.
Carrie joined WordSouth’s team in November 2018 as director of strategy and training. She says this is her “encore career” after spending 30 years in the cooperative telecom environment. Carrie says her time in customer service and sales better prepared her for the marketing role since there is no better place to learn the products and services and get the customer feedback.
Carrie and her husband, David, bought her parents’ home and farmland in 2016. After two years of slow renovation, they made the final move in November 2018. The Huckebys have two children, Kelci and Nelson, and two beautiful grandchildren, Addison and Rylan. They split their time between sunset watching from the back porch and traveling to Mississippi to see the grandbabies. Carrie has two beehives and is trying to learn the science of beekeeping. She earned her MBA from Bethel University in 2016, and in 2018, Carrie and a few of her friends kicked off The Power of 100 Warren County. The organization currently has 130 ladies as members and donates funds to a local charity each quarter.
Andrew Neidert is a co-founder of ARC Media and VP of marketing and business development at Pioneer Utility Resources. He has a degree in Marketing & Media from Missouri State University and over a decade of experience working with rural-focused clients assisting them in effectively engaging their target audience across the countryside. Andy has extensive experience in developing an innovative advertising program for the statewide publication Rural Missouri over the years. When not working (sometimes when he is) he is certainly doing something outside or has something at the ice hockey rink on the schedule. Fairways, fly-rods, shotguns, or hockey sticks…depending on the season!
Megan McKoy-Noe, CCC
With a strong background in social media and leadership communications, Megan helps utilities find ways to engage members and staff effectively as the brand storyteller for Pioneer Utility Resources. For five years, she steered the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Straight Talk team, providing social support, monthly articles and handy graphics for electric co-ops across the nation. She got the co-op bug while working for GreyStone Power, a member distribution co-op in Georgia. Megan, her husband, Paul, and their daughter, Maggie, live in Georgia when they’re not visiting national parks.
Rod Ballard has over 26 years’ experience working with utilities. He performs consulting services for electric, telecom, and water distribution clients. Rod’s consulting services include broadband feasibility studies, M&A due diligence, and regulatory consulting. He leads Jackson Thornton’s utility training efforts and has taught utility-specific courses across the nation.
Rod has led accounting and fraud training for accounting and management personnel for both national and statewide Electric and Telecom Associations. He has also led training related to understanding utility finance and accounting for operations personnel from various utilities. Rod has served as a speaker for the NTCA, Rural Utilities Service (RUS), NRECA, NSAC, and Telergee.
Andy is the director of marketing and business development at WordSouth. An innovative storyteller and communicator, Andy has been featured as a presenter and moderator on various broadband and marketing topics at more than 30 industry conferences around the United States. Prior to joining the WordSouth team, Andy was an award-winning reporter at newspapers in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. He studied communications at Berry College and earned his MBA with a marketing focus from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In 2019, he also earned a certification in Marketing Automation. In 2015 and 2016, Andy, his wife, pre-school son and two dogs turned nomads, living in 26-foot RV as they drove 36,000 miles visiting telco clients and attending industry conferences around the US and Canada. They are now parked permanently in Chattanooga, Tennessee.