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HOW WE ENGAGE

There is nothing as important or effective as developing relationships face-to-face, but the pace of change requires us to find other ways to engage with our stakeholders and to stay in touch more generally. Social media plays a significant role in this evolution, although it will not replace the personal connections we value.

We regularly connect with stakeholders using resources such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, among other ways. We can engage those who have an interest in our business, and we can see what people are saying about us, our activities and our industry. This engagement helps us to understand the perceptions some may have and gives us the opportunity to respond or engage if we so choose.

Social media has become a critical tool in our ability to communicate with customers, and they with us. We track the communication closely on all social media platforms. With more than 23,000 followers, AEP and our operating companies were mentioned more than 34,700 times on various platforms in 2011. Nearly 23 percent of the mentions focused on environmental issues, including proposed EPA rules.

During 2011, AEP’s public safety advertising campaign was eliminated due to budget constraints. We used social media and community events to communicate our safety messages instead. We launched a successful public safety campaign using 3BL Media, a social media platform that included links to videos, fact sheets and learning modules on electrical safety. In six months, we posted 38 times and more than 23,000 visitors clicked through those posts or watched the videos. The campaign helped us to make an important new connection with the Independent Electrical Contractor (IEC) Association, which has more than 60 chapters nationwide. IEC posted a link to all of our public safety resources on its national website. Public safety is a significant issue for AEP, and we will conduct a similar campaign in 2012.

Microblogging on Twitter is a great way to engage with customers and others who are interested in our business. We can share information quickly about power outages, energy efficiency and other issues and engage in chats that help us ensure our message is clear and information is accurate. Our corporate Twitter account has more than 2,300 followers (@AEPNews). Another 4,096 people follow our various operating companies on Twitter. AEP’s director of sustainability is on Twitter (@Watts4U), with more than 600 followers, and regularly shares information about the company, energy efficiency, power outages, leadership, sustainability and other issues. Public Service Company of Oklahoma holds Twitter “parties” (@PSOklahoma) to share energy saving tips. At one Twitter party, more than 630 tweets were posted.

We also held our first webinar in June 2011 when we unveiled our generation transformation plan. Led by our senior executives, more than 70 stakeholders participated.

More than 23,000