DALLAS: Porter Novelli has come out on top in the fight to become
TXU Engery's first agency of record.
Other bidders included Weber Shandwick Worldwide, Fleishman-Hillard,
GCI, and Edelman, but PN's work for TXU in the fourth quarter gave it a
leg up. The budget has yet to be determined, claimed Jim Heininger, PN's
TXU and other utilities have been gearing up for the January 1 advent of
retail electric competition in Texas. The company added a four-person
marketing communications group about a year ago, and has beefed up its
PR staff, said spokesperson Sandy Smith. TXU issued an RFP for outside
help in September, and hired PN on a project basis in the interim.
PN will help boost brand awareness, particularly in parts of Texas
outside TXU's home turf, where it competes against better-known
incumbents. TXU also wants to strengthen corporate positioning in the
national media, Smith said.
Internally, TXU is coming to grips with how to organize communications
under the competitive framework. Texas' deregulation law requires
incumbent utilities to split their operations into separate generation,
transmission, and retail companies, which can't always share