KIUC & Touchstone Energy

SUBHEAD: Touchstone appears to be a branding franchise for those electric co-ops without the skill to come up with their own logos, motto or public relations.

By Juan Wilson on 19 April 2011 for Island Breath - 
(http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2011/04/kiuc-touchstone-energy.html)  
Image above: Logo of the National Rural Electrical Cooperative Association that KIUC uses as their own. Is this what we get for $3 mllion? From (http://www.sedgwickcountyelectric.coop).

Maybe you've noticed the above logo and motto on KIUC materials "Your Touchstone Energy Partner". It seems that what we thought was our own locally owned and run cooperative is actually in branding arrangement with a national mainland company, Touchstone Energy Corporation.

Whether it's sponsoring a Busch Nascar race at the Talladega Super Speedway, tossing door prizes to attendees at a North Dakota rodeo, giving hot air balloon rides in North Dakota, or handing out retail discount cards good at your pharmacy - Touchstone Energy corporation's 63,000 employees know how to orchestrate good public relations for the company and its 660 participating rural electric cooperatives.

What is Touchstone up to now? The Connect 11 Conference and Expo sponsored by the NRACA (National Rural Electrical Cooperative Association) "A Touchstone Energy Cooperative" from May 9th thru May 12th in Denver, Colorado. It will feature such crucial keynote addresses as:
Teambuilding: We > I + U = Synergy in Action Craig Zablocki, President, Craig Zablocki and Associates It is a proven fact that healthy humor increases productivity, motivation, and learning. Craig will leave you laughing while he teaches you how to use positive humor to strengthen morale and increase productivity and teamwork. Be ready for an action-packed workshop that is as fun as it is informative. A nationally known speaker and consultant, Craig’s unscripted style has been compared to a hybrid of Robin Williams and Dr. Wayne Dyer.
Own the Brand and Lead Big Kevin and Jackie Freiberg Sponsored by Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Hear about the seven timely and timeless choices for growing your own personal leadership brand, owning your collective brand and telling powerful stories to grow brand loyalty in the hearts and minds of your members. The Freibergs have been featured by CBS’s 60 Minutes, CNBC, the CBS Morning News, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today.
Who pays for the salaries of those 63,000 employees and all that wicked gear at those hot events... the members of the participating 8,500 KIUC households. Let's look at just the cost for those 63,000 employees. Let's say an average income of $30,000 (with benefits and medical insurance). For that alone the corporate nut might be almost $2 billion. That doesn't include any other corporate costs like building leases and office equipment.

Averaging across the 660 participating coops those salaries could be almost $3 million a year for KIUC to "belong" to the Touchstone family. That's only about a dollar a day per Kauai customer... (or about 25% of a $120 monthly electric bill. Not too bad... if you were paying protection to the mafia. Do I have the math right or does that seem a lot to pay to use the Touchstone name brand, motto and logo? Remember their motto - "Together We Save". Sounds soo Kauai!
 
Image above: "Together We Save" ad campaign review. From (http://www.ect.coop/industry/business-finance/a-home-run-for-together-we-save).

The videos below show some of the activities of Touchstone Energy Corporation we're missing out on. Where are our balloon rides, NASCAR races and rodeo prizes?

 2000 Touchstone Energy 300 at Talladega Super Speedway
From (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uQhWs1K-vg)  

Toushstone prizes at end of Black Hills Ranch Rodeo

From (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkVcRgbtS4Q)  

Touchstone Energy Balloon Rides in Bismark ND

From (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOe6tHzJmsg)  

Touchstone Retail Discounts Cards for Elvis fans
From (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CpsYSnItc0)

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