4.3 Public and government relations
The Company consistently implements its information policy in line with the Rosseti’s long-term communications strategy and common principles of single communication policy, paying close attention to promotion of its business reputation in external environment. Primary PRpublic relations-related objectives, achieved by the Company in 2018, were to secure informational transparency, to provide stockholders and public with trustworthy and timely information on Company’s performance, changes and development prospects. Protection of Company’s interests in public space and assistance in implementation of business tasks also receive special attention.
The Company’s information policy rests on principles of efficient response, trustworthiness, fullness, accessibility, timeliness and thoroughness. Important aspects of Company’s management performance are initiation and maintenance of efficient communications with business, professional, expert and scientific communities; state or municipal authorities, public organizations, veteran and youth movements as well as Company’s employees.
In 2018 mass media published 8,285 articles on the Company and its operations. Positive and neutral mentions exceeded 98.92%. The Company fully controls its image, since the portion of releases, initiated by the PRpublic relations department, is rather high, while the portion of negative releases is low. OAOOpen Joint-Stock Company IDGCInterregional Distribution Grid Company of Urals is a regional leader in information activity among FECfuel and energy company companies. Besides, in 2018 the Company entered Top-10 Russian Energy Companies PRpublic relations Ranking, based on SKAN Interfax database regarding media mentions and qualitative communication characteristics — index of prominence and quoted speech.
Major topics of releases issued by mass media about the Company in 2018 were execution of investment and repair programs on the service area, increase of access to the networks on the service area, operations during severe weather conditions as well as restoration of energy supply after incidents. Many releases covered Company’s progress in reduction of receivables caused by malpractices and inefficiencies of the providers of the last resort, which were deprived of their POLRprovider of the last resort status. A considerable portion of releases dwelled upon Company’s energy sales activities, due to changes in the Urals energy market.
As a part of the single communication policy of the PAOPublic Joint-Stock Company Rosseti Group, the Company also has a strong presence in the social networks and blogosphere, constantly updating its official accounts on the popular web platforms. We pay a special attention to communications with the general public and mass media representatives through social networks and blogosphere during restoration of power supply interrupted by bad weather conditions. We also use our accounts in the social networks to inform the target audience on prevention of energy-related injuries, non-contracted and unmetered energy consumption, energy sale function, technological connection and sector prestige.
Exhibition activities are also one of the most important aspects of brand communication development and positioning of the Company as a leading grid company in its service area as well as forming and maintaining the unified Rosseti image.
During the reported period, OAOOpen Joint-Stock Company IDGCInterregional Distribution Grid Company of Urals took part in the Innoprom 2018 global innovations forum for the 9th time. The Company’s stand presented vectors for digital transformation of the Urals and Kama grid complex. Itinformation technologies should be noted that the Company complies with the common principles for construction of new-generation networks, formulated in the PAOPublic Joint-Stock Company Rosseti’s Digital Transformation 2030 Concept. Goals and objectives, presented by the Company on the Innoprom 2018 forum, was an important step for implementation of smart grid control systems based on digital technologies. The Company has demonstrated that the concept covers several aspects. First of all, itinformation technologies deals with build-up of highly automated networks, which observability and controllability can be provided by digital communications systems and equipment. The Company has already implemented a range of innovative projects, compliant with the new PAOPublic Joint-Stock Company Rosseti’s concept on subsidiary development.
AOJoint-Stock Company National Engineering Center of the Energy Sector, OOOLimited Liability Company TEKVEL Development and Urals Federal University named after the first Russian President B.N. Eltsyn used Company’s facilities to conduct a practical workshop “Digital Substation. Roll-out of IECInternational Electrotechnical Commission, international standards and conformity assessment body 61850 digital data exchange between technological systems”. Findings of a research paper, paid for by the Company, on development of methods and algorithms for evaluation of compliance of technical solutions regarding RPArelay protection automation and ACS on connection with technical part of tender documentation formed as a SSD file were presented separately. Workshop participants got acquainted with DigitalSubstationTools software which uses algorithms and methods developed in the course of the research. The software will be used in digitalization of substations, its application will enable automation of selection of RPArelay protection automation devices and ACS on connection offered by potential suppliers, compliant with IECInternational Electrotechnical Commission, international standards and conformity assessment body 61850, enhance technical excellence of applied RPArelay protection automation and ACS complexes, cut expenses on exploitation of RPArelay protection automation and ACS subsystems and implement additional functions on digital substations.
The Company presented innovative projects on the Russian Investment Forum 2018, hosted by Sochi. One of the projects was a project related to implementation of the “Strizh” smart metering system. The project was implemented in the Perm region and uses LP WANlow-power wide-area network technology. The LP WANlow-power wide-area network technology is efficient and functional, it enables to collect and transmit telemetry for short and medium distances (up to 10 kmkilometer). We have installed approx. 1,500 smart meters in 10 settlements of the Kungur and Solikamsk districts under the project. Readings are transmitted by the devices autonomously to the base stations which transmit readings to the Company’s servers. The “Strizh” project was highly appreciated by the professional community.
Another important event of the Russian Investment Forum 2018 was signing of the agreement on the usage of project management principles in implementing priority projects in the energy sector between the Government of the Sverdlovsk region and OAOOpen Joint-Stock Company IDGCInterregional Distribution Grid Company of Urals. The document was signed by the First Deputy Governor of the Sverdlovsk region Aleksey Orlov and OAOOpen Joint-Stock Company IDGCInterregional Distribution Grid Company of Urals’ General Director Sergey Dregval. The agreement focuses on improvement of the investment climate in the Sverdlovsk region by increasing the level of planning of perspective development of the regional grid complex, enforcing reliable energy supply and enabling application of best-in-class practices and technologies in the Middle Urals. The document specifies core interministerial projects focusing on efficient social and economic development of the region, namely: development and approval of the program on development of the energy complex of the Sverdlovsk region, build-up of the system of responsibility of gridcos for failures to comply with individual indicators of reliability and quality of electricity transmission services, development and implementation of the action plan on electricity loss reduction in the grid complex of the Sverdlovsk region and implementation of the “Connection Portal” information system in the region.
The Company develops existing and creates new tools of intra-corporate communications. The corporate web-site is at the top 10 web-resources covering energy-saving by the Yandex citation index. It is also has a high “Web-site quality” index (2600) which shows how useful the web-site is for the users. Index calculation included the size of the web-site audience, satisfaction of its users, level of confidence of its users and Yandex as well as other criteria, using data from Yandex services as a basis.
In 2018, as a result of revocation of the PoLRprovider of the last resort status from several regional energy sales companies, OAOOpen Joint-Stock Company IDGCInterregional Distribution Grid Company of Urals became the guaranteed supplier in the Chelyabinsk region, cities of Nizhnyi Tagil, Nevyansk and Novouralsk. The Company therefore created a separate web-site related to energy sales operations where users could leave meter readings, pay the bills by a bank card, submit online request or chat with a Company’s representative. Users only have to enter their personal account numbers to leave meter reading or to pay the bills. Visitors can use any mobile device to view the web-site due to its adaptive coding. As this new web-site focuses exclusively on energy sales operations of the Company, the customers can easily navigate through its structure and services.
We traditionally prepared 12 issues of monthly corporate newspaper for employees (addition to the federal Rosseti’s newspaper), one of important tools for non-financial stimulation and informing on Company’s performance. Articles mainly covered labor-improving activities, acquisition of new vehicles, machinery and equipment, labor safety, activities of the veteran and young specialist councils.
The Company also took considerable efforts to retain our historic heritage. Adhering to the principle of transparency in relations with key consumers, the Company kept on promoting the Museum of the Urals Energy Sector. Our museum participated in “A Museum Night” event, held in May 2018 in Yekaterinburg. Over 1.0 thousand visitors took part in an interesting adventure game in the museum, undergoing various tests related to professional activities of the Company.
Thus, the Company continues to form communication environment, benevolent for business development, with the help of various tools and channels to promote its interests in external environment.