BPU Talks Marketing Plan

Several opinions were shared during a brainstorming session the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities had on how to market its utilities.

On Monday, the nine-member board held a work session meeting where they discussed business development and future BPU advertising campaigns. Fred Larson, BPU board member and county legislator representing Jamestown, said the BPU needs to be involved with Jamestown Community College’s and SUNY Fredonia’s Start-Up NY programs. Larson said the BPU needs a representative in economic development discussions to let people know about the electric, water and district heating services the utility can offer businesses located in the city.

”It is up to us to know what we can offer,” he said. ”We need the BPU to be a player (in economic development discussions).”

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi said along with having someone involved in economic development discussions, the utility needs to market what it can offer business in more specific detail. He said he has a five-point approach that included defining the five services the BPU offers electric, water, wastewater, solid waste and district heating; the quality of the service the utility offers; showing the bottom line savings for using BPU utilities; showing businesses and residents they will be doing themselves a favor by living in the BPU service area; and specifically detail what the BPU offers.

”We are here to generate a profit,” he said.

David Leathers, BPU general manager, said a consultant hired by the BPU has reported that until other areas are in line, like lower property taxes and a quality housing stock, advertising could be a waste of money for the utility company. However, he said if that is the direction the board wants to go he will get BPU employees working on a new advertising and marketing campaign.