Meet The Speaker: Chelsea Watt, Manager, Social Media & Digital Content, BC Hydro

Meet the Speaker: One of our Rock Star Presenters at the upcoming Social Media for Utilities Conference in Chicago

Chelsea Watt
BC Hydro

Q: Name, title, company?
A: Chelsea Watt, Manager, Social Media & Digital Content, BC Hydro

Q: Family, hometown, where you live?
A: I was born and raised in Metro Vancouver and I’ve never left. I live in the suburb of New Westminster and work in downtown Vancouver.

Q: What is your Utility experience?
A: I’ve been with BC Hydro working in digital communications and social media since 2010. Before that, I supported public consultation and website communications for another British Columbia Crown corporation, the BC Transmission Corporation.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working? Hobbies?
A: I’m a huge movie fan, in particular, preparing for the Oscars. My big movie-going season just wrapped up with that crazy Oscar ceremony! Other hobbies include winning at pub trivia, baking, enjoying Vancouver’s food scene, and spending time with my adorable nephew.

Q: Notable achievements?
A: Personally, I’m proud that I made it to the in-person audition stage for Jeopardy. Still waiting for my call! Professionally, I’m proud of BC Hydro’s social media program – as a Canadian utility, we don’t operate on the same scale as some larger US companies, but over the years we’ve been consistently recognized as a top-performing utility for social media by our peers. That’s thanks to a great team and the great leadership that we have in communications.

Q: Where do you see Social Media in utilities in two years?
A: I think the pressure will continue to grow to deliver direct customer service for simple requests through the space.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?
A: Meeting customer expectations in terms of service delivery on social within the constraints we face as a Crown corporation – specifically around privacy. What your cable company or mobile company can do for you through Twitter DMs is very different that what a provincially-owned Crown corporation can do, due to the legislation that we’re subject to.

Q: What did you do prior to working in your utility?
A: I worked at BC Transmission Corporation, which was an electrical utility focused solely on the transmission grid. My role was split between internal communications and supporting web communications, in particular around public consultation.

Q: Who are a couple of your role models (and why)?
A: I’ve been lucky enough to work for some incredible managers here at BC Hydro so a number of them would make the list. Outside of work, my mom has always been a huge role model for me, although her technical skills and skills in the kitchen dramatically outstrip mine. She also used to work at BC Hydro – it’s fun to be in the “family business.”

Q: What is one of your big goals?
A: Well, this year I completed my first-ever (last-ever?) half marathon, so that was a big one off my list on the personal front and I haven’t replaced it yet. At work, I think continuing to develop my skills as a leader and manager to be the best that I can be.

Q: What is the biggest misconception you run into in your role?
A: That we can make something have a huge impact on our audience if they’re not genuinely interested in the content or subject matter.