CLEVELAND: Utility deregulation continues to be a boon for PR agencies, with Ohio becoming the latest state preparing to mete out big bucks - possibly in the neighborhood of dollars 3 million - for a PR campaign.
CLEVELAND: Utility deregulation continues to be a boon for PR
agencies, with Ohio becoming the latest state preparing to mete out big
bucks - possibly in the neighborhood of dollars 3 million - for a PR
The Public Utility Commission of Ohio will decide in March which of the
six agencies that responded to the PR portion of the state’s RFP gets
the lucrative piece of business.
The list of agencies hoping to secure the PR account includes a mix of
local firms, energy specialists and a single multinational:
Burson-Marsteller, Edward Howard Co., Paul Werth Associates, RMD, the
Energy Advisory Group and Zero Base. PR firms that are part of coalition
bids for the entire program (with advertising and research) include Dix
& Eaton, Watt/Fleishman-Hillard and Wyse-Landau.
Ohio has allocated dollars 33 million for consumer education about
Of that, dollars 16 million will be spent during the first year of the
program and dollars 17 million during what education programs
administrator Lee Veroski calls ’a transition period’ that could last an
additional five years.
The exact amount that will be spent on PR has not been specified, but
Ohio PR pros are expecting it to be in the range of dollars 3
Veroski conceded that PR will play a secondary role to advertising in
the marketing effort, which will focus on consumer education. ’We’re
looking for a PR campaign that can support the general message of
advertising,’ she said. However, PR will be entrusted with communicating
two of the major messages: consumers can pick a new electric utility and
they are entitled to compare offers from different providers.
The marketing campaign will commence in July, and consumers will start
picking their own electric suppliers at the beginning of next year.
While the utility commission will select winners for the program, the
Ohio Electric Utility Institute (a utility trade association) will
oversee the program’s implementation.