Power company’s brand journalism changes the tone

Power generation can be controversial, particularly in the nuclear realm. Omaha Public Power District’s websites have cut reporter phone calls and boosted public understanding of the issues.

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Anybody in the nuclear energy business can tell you the topic draws news media scrutiny, whether the news peg is an environmental protest or a flood that threatens a riverside reactor.

Journalists—often non-specialists—may find themselves explaining the technical workings of a reactor or the science of splitting the uranium atom.

So when the Omaha Public Power District began shutting down its Fort Calhoun Station reactor this month, communicators were glad they had a platform for speaking directly to reporters and the public.

“We’re taking control of the narrative,” says Paula Lukowski, supervisor of customer communications.

The power company does that through The Wire, a brand journalism platform filled with newsy articles, infographics and videos on topics ranging from wind farms to a peregrine falcon family living in a box installed on a power plant stack.

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