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Duke Energy and Duke basketball had a bad March. Duke basketball probably will come back sooner than Duke Energy.
Duke Energy knows it has a problem. The utility took out full-page newspaper ads Sunday – the classic corporate PR response.
It was a waste of money.
A paid ad persuades no one when the front pages are dominated by one story after another about the Dan River spill, the resulting environmental damage and the Duke-DENR relationship.
One sentence in Duke’s ad betrayed the company’s dilemma: “Each ash basin site is unique and will require complex measures that will take time.”
“Take time.” In other words, Duke is going to be on the hot seat for a long time. So is Governor McCrory, a 29-year Duke employee, no matter how hard he tries now to distance himself.
The best PR strategy for Duke in today’s skeptical, social-media world isn’t a letter from the CEO. It’s for the CEO to hold an in-depth session with reporters where she answers every question, no holds barred. That’s what GM’s CEO did to respond to the auto-maker’s recall debacle.
People know that mistakes happen. They need to know why this happened and what Duke is going to do now.
They don’t want a CYA letter signed by a faceless executive. They want to see and hear a real person. They want someone to take responsibility for what went wrong – and responsibility for making it right.


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4 comments on “Duking It Out

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yet another Duke Power post. Guess this is going to be the issue of the day from now until election day for the democrats in our state. I mean, hey….no matter the massive unemployment and no matter the poor and no matter the big wealth inequality in our state and no matter the racial division we have. All of those issues aren’t even a little bit as important as the coal ash spills and Duke Power’s weak reaction to it and the fact that McCrory was an employee of Duke Power for so many years and is in cahoots with them. Yep, that’s what’s going to win the NC Senate and NC House back for democrats. And, you just GOTTA know that McCrory will now be a one-term governor because of it. Politics and who wins and loses is FAR more important to the democrats in our state than all those issues they used to run on.

    What a bunch of hypocrits. And you, Gary, are right in there with them.

    This Duke Power debacle is an issue that will end up fizzling out and if the democrats keep thinking it’s going to be their salvation come November, they are being just like the fundamental evangelical christian contingent within the republican party with their one-issue emphasis on abortion. Neither of these issues has enough force to move many voters one way or the other.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It remains a real long way from the Gov. The spill’s problem is that it brings no new voters to the Democrat tent. Those crazy green nuts were there all along, and others rank it very low on their list, and the Gov was so far removed from this that any attempt to smear him screams foul. It could take a little attention away from the real damage done to Americans by the Obama care act. Democrats own that one and that stain will be on their hands for a long time to come. Duke Power is a monopoly, and crys out for competition. Not something the left wants to do. Here’s a good one, let the government take over the electrictal production business. They could do to it what they are doing to health care.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Republican answer is actually quite simple. Just remind voters of the massive contributions that Duke Power made to the Obama Dog and Pony Show, aka the Democrat National Convention, in 2012. While they do play both sides politically, then clearly have historically favored Democrats with their cash.

    It is sort of like BP. Not only does their contribution history widely favor Democrats, but the biggest recipient of all time of their campaign cash was one Barrack Hussein Obama.

    Someone at NCGOP headquarters should be pulling the campaign reports and computing a comparison of the amounts Duke has contributed to Democrats and the amount to Republicans, but maybe that level of competence is too much to ask for.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hope Duke Power doesn’t run for any state wide office. I understand Mayor Meeker of Raleigh gets his power from Duke. Got to be something there. Also I heard from one source that Mayor Meeker was in the general area of one of the Coal Ash pond leaks. Where there is ash there is cash. Someone needs to see who gave to which campaigns.

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