Embracing Change

Teresa Hansen

We’ve heard over and over for several years that the electric utility industry is going through the biggest transformation since its inception. I’ve covered the industry for more than two decades and can attest to this transformation. Of course, the electric utility industry is not the only industry experiencing mammoth changes. Transportation, communications, retail and many others also have seen their tried-and-true business models turned upside down. In fact, I’ve experienced firsthand a transformation that could be even bigger than that of the utility industry—the publishing industry.

The places from which people obtain information and learn about current events has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. If you’re like me, a printed newspaper is not your first source of breaking news and a magazine is no longer the only place you go to find in depth articles on some of your favorite topics. While I still usually learn about what happened overnight by tuning into a local morning show on TV, I get breaking news and updates to ongoing stories throughout the day via websites, various smart phone apps and even social channels. (Beware, not everything you read on Facebook or Twitter is accurate or true.)

These media outlets are great. The ability to access information by goggling a website or topic, asking Siri or even glancing at an iWatch has not only made life easier, but it has made most of us smarter. For Merriam Webster, Rand McNally, U.S. News & World Report and many others, however, these new media channels have been as disruptive as anything any industry has experienced.

Although I still love print magazines, especially this one, I’m thrilled that the magazine has become just one of the many sources of information and original content we offer our audience. Because I want ensure you’re aware of our many offerings and encourage you to take advantage of them, I’m using this column to give you a quick rundown of some of those offerings.

Did you know that POWERGRID International shares a website with Electric Light & Power? The combined website not only provides the latest industry news, it also houses current and archived issues of POWERGRID International and Electric Light & Power’s Executive Digest along with the bi-weekly newscast that Senior Editor Rod Walton and I host. In addition, you’ll find white papers covering many relevant industry topics, as well as our archived webcasts, which are some of our best sources of in-depth, relevant content. In fact, I recently moderated a webcast titled “Advanced Distribution Planning: Planning for the Future Before the Future Plans for You” that covers the industry transformation I mentioned earlier. The webcast provides some great insight into system planning for a changing and uncertain future. Like all our webcasts, it is free and you can sign up to watch it at your convenience, as long as it’s within six months of the original broadcast date. POWERGRID International and Electric Light & Power also deploy two electronic newsletters each week that provide highlights of the week’s most important stories, original content contributed by industry experts and much more.

In addition to all that the magazine and website offers, POWERGRID International is DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition’s official media partner. It is your gateway to the rich content, including topic specific videos, that’s housed on DistribuTECH’s website. No other publication has this direct connection to DistribuTECH. To learn more about this event, which will take place next month in San Antonio, read Rod Walton’s article that begins on page 12. I hope you’re planning to attend the event, but if you can’t make it, be sure to keep an eye on our website Feb. 23-26, to keep up with everything going on at the event.

Our industry is changing fast and it can be hard to keep up, but rest assured, we at POWERGRID International and our sister publication Electric Light & Power, as well as DistribuTECH are working hard to keep you informed and educated. I urge you to take advantage of all the content we offer.

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