Ohio utilities push handed to New Hampshire shops

CLEVELAND: Two small New Hampshire firms have triumphed over the likes of Fleishman-Hillard and Burson-Marsteller to win the PR portion of a major consumer energy education push planned in Ohio.

CLEVELAND: Two small New Hampshire firms have triumphed over the likes of Fleishman-Hillard and Burson-Marsteller to win the PR portion of a major consumer energy education push planned in Ohio.

CLEVELAND: Two small New Hampshire firms have triumphed over the

likes of Fleishman-Hillard and Burson-Marsteller to win the PR portion

of a major consumer energy education push planned in Ohio.



The state’s Public Utility Commission has chosen High Point

Communications and Gregory S. Franklin Associates for its upcoming state

electric utility deregulation campaign, a piece of business worth

between dollars 750,000 and dollars 2 million in PR fees in the coming

year, according to education programs administrator Lee Ruh.



While the commission’s RFP drew bids from nearly every major PR firm in

Ohio as well as from several national firms (PRWeek, Jan. 24), the

commission went with the High Point/Franklin team because it had

’direct, hands-on experience with this issue. They were one of the only

firms who did,’ said Ruh.



The High Point/Franklin team won a deregulation assignment in Maryland

earlier this year (PRWeek, Jan. 31), and have been doing similar work in

New Hampshire and Connecticut. Laura Monica, president of High Point and

a principal with Franklin, said between eight and 12 staffers from the

two agencies will work on the account.



While specific details about the Ohio effort haven’t been finalized,

High Point/Franklin programs in other states have included outreach to

community groups, consumer education, toll-free call centers for

consumer questions and Web site development. Ohio has allocated dollars

33 million for consumer education about utility deregulation. Of that,

dollars 16 million will be spent during the first year and dollars 17

million over a transition period that could last an additional five

years.



PR firms that submitted proposals for the PR portion of the work

included Burson-Marsteller, Edward Howard & Co., Paul Werth Associates,

RMD, the Energy Advisory Group and Zero Base. Agencies that were part of

combined PR/advertising bids included Dix & Eaton,

Watt/Fleishman-Hillard and Wyse Landau Public Relations.



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