Front Porch Forum: Highlighting MTEMC
Middle Tennessee Electric is using the Front Porch Forum platform in a distinctive way and the benefits are two-fold. During each quarter in 2019, they host an online forum for 75 members to engage in topics that are important to their cooperative. Through this type of engagement, Middle Tennessee Electric established goals for uncovering new insights, attitudes and opinions while simultaneously gaining ambassadors for the cooperative. They’re well on their way to achieving both.
Branded as Middle Tennessee Electric’s “Co-op Community Forum”, members of Middle Tennessee Electric have successfully completed two of the four quarterly meetings of the year. Approximately 90% of their members returned for the second quarter’s meeting and are eagerly waiting for the next opportunity to have their voice heard in the third quarter. This high retention in participation amongst the members shows that trust is being built between the cooperative and these participating members.
In the first two quarters, Middle Tennessee Electric focused the research on the evaluation of their myMTEMC app, energy management, and member communication and engagement preferences. The cooperative has started adding new engagement activities with the local community to their calendar based on the feedback of their members. They are also testing different means of sending their state magazine.
The research channel allows for open lines of communication with members. Over 50% of members in the Co-op Community Forum are between the ages of 30 and 55, enabling Middle Tennessee Electric to connect with young members with busy households who may not normally have time to attend an in-person member advisory meeting. This is an essential segment of members to engage with since middle-aged members typically report having lower satisfaction with their cooperative than their younger and older counterparts.