Meet the Speaker: One of our Rock Star Presenters at the upcoming Social Media for Utilities Conference in Las Vegas.
Q: Name, title, company?
A: Scott Thomsen, Senior Strategic Advisor in Communications, Seattle City Light
Q: Family, hometown, where you live?
A: Married, four children, born in Omaha, Nebraska , now live in Edmonds, Washington.
Q: What is your Utility experience?
A: At Seattle City Light since 2007.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working? Hobbies?
A: Passionate skier. Love to be outdoors. Avid cyclist and triathlete.
Q: Notable achievements?
A: National Association of Government Communicator Golden Screen Award for social media. Intelligent Utility’s “Best Utility Tweet of All Time.” Top 10 social media account in Seattle, according to Evan Charmichael.
Q: Where do you see Social Media in utilities in two years?
A: Utilities are playing catch-up in social, but they are making progress, becoming more agile and creative. Over the next two years, I expect to see more utilities embrace social as a two-way connection with their customers while leaders in the industry expand its use for customer care purposes.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
A: There are so many possibilities with social. There are numerous networks and tools to pick from. It can be very tempting to try everything. The challenge is to identify which of those networks and tools will fit your needs best and then get really good at them. Then it’s important to help others understand that strategic focus so they don’t get excited about other networks that you might not have the resources to support.
Q: What did you do prior to working in your utility?
A: I was a journalist who primarily covered politics and government before becoming an editor. I worked at the Orange County Register, the Reno Gazette-Journal, The Portland Press-Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram, The Colorado Springs Gazette, The Associated Press and the Pittsburgh Tribune.
Q: Who are a couple of your role models (and why)?
A: I tend to connect with people who make the most of their abilities and those who do the right thing when it’s not convenient or easy. Abraham Lincoln still inspires me for this conviction to end slavery, his strategic foresight, and his determination to preserve the union throughout the Civil War.
Q: What is the biggest misconception you run into in your role?
A: There’s a perception that an electric utility has the extensive resources to support social media and communications. Working for a publicly owned utility, we try to do as much as we can while holding down costs for our customer-owners. That means small staffs that hustle to get things done.