Social media helps co-ops communicate during winter storm


A sunny sky in East River Electric Power Cooperative’s service territory near Summit, SD, belies the strong winds, cold temperatures, and snow that roared through large swaths of North Dakota and South Dakota around Christmas 2016.

The thermometer in the Upper Great Plains region is mostly trending in the right direction, but the recent weather forecast reminds everyone that winter isn’t quite ready to release its icy grasp just yet.

Winter 2016-2017 included several snowfall events – most notably for many, Winter Storm Europa.

The massive ice storm and blizzard hammered hundreds of Basin Electric cooperative members in North Dakota and South Dakota during the final days of 2016, and left thousands of people without power for days.

Read more in our January-February 2017 Basin Today magazine: Winter storm Europa wallops member cooperatives

Social media played a large role in member cooperatives’ communication with members and the general public during and after the storm.

“Probably the biggest takeaway regarded social media,” says Brenda Kleinjan, director of communications/member relations at South Dakota Rural Electric Association. “Social media likes on Facebook rose 27 percent among all South Dakota co-ops. One co-op saw a 450 percent increase.”

Below are a few cooperative communications to members.

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