Client

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE)

Campaign

BGE Partners Reception

MARKETING CHALLENGE

Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation and Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility. Headquartered in Baltimore, Md., BGE provides service to more than 1.2 million electric and 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland.

In the summer of 2016, BGE celebrated its 200-year anniversary as the first gas utility in the country. BGE wanted to host an event to thank key business, legislative and other stakeholders. BGE was in the middle of a rate increase case, and Baltimore City had experienced the widely reported protests and uprisings months before. The perception of spending on such a large celebration and the messaging climate presented unique challenges.

We began planning for their large Partner’s Reception in January 2016. BGE partnered with SRB Communications to develop communications messaging and creative, and provided event planning and media relations services that cultivated success with the energy company’s customers.

Among the creative services we provided:

  • Strategic direction for creative development for staging, marketing collateral and the PowerPoint/SlideShare deck presentation
  • Copywriting and editing services
  • Design, layout and production of creative especially marketing collateral and print and digital media
  • Presenting design concepts with recommended timelines including design, production, development, launch, continuing rollout
  • Negotiating, arranging, and contracting all talent, photography, audio visual, artwork and all materials and services required to execute yearlong strategic communications projects

BGE sought to develop a top level, at-a-glance informational presentation that showcased highlights of the 200th Anniversary celebration for the energy company. The 200th Anniversary Recap included compelling stories, headlines, visually compelling graphics, infographics, and common themes that will highlight accomplishments and key events.

We also provide media relations and earned media support throughout the year for the campaign. Specifically, we pitched relevant story ideas to television news and public affairs programs, radio news and public affairs programs, major newspapers, community and ethnic publications and digital properties (websites, blogs, columnists). Our work resulted in story placement in major newspapers, community newspapers and national magazines.

Perhaps the best example of our success during the yearlong 200th anniversary campaign was responsible for planning, coordination, logistics and implementation for all aspects of the BGE Community Stakeholders Event. BGE wanted to host a major event to recognize and thank its key business, legislative, community and other stakeholders. At the time, the company was in the middle of a rate increase case and Baltimore City had experienced the historical uprisings months before. The perception of spending money on such a large celebration and the messaging climate presented unique challenges in terms of hosting a celebration of BGE.

Taking the dynamics of the environment into consideration, SRB Communications proposed the theme, ‘Shining a Light on You, a Reception Honoring Our Partners’ for the event. The goal was to keep the focus on how BGE’s customers and key partners were the reason for the company’s 200-year success. We worked with several regional stakeholders including local charities and arts programs in Baltimore to secure performers and provide volunteers that would lead guests in an interactive activity at the reception. We contracted with Baltimore-based small businesses, especially minority and women-owned companies, to provide the services for the event such as catering, signage, printing, event speakers and photographers.

SRB Communications developed signage, program books, and invitations for this event that exuded their brand.  The design process started with a creative brief to capture the ask of the collateral. There were multiple design rounds involved and the end-product turned out to be a huge success. The key staff members involved in this creative process were:

  • Chief Strategist – Led the team and developed the vision and strategy for the overall campaign.
  • Senior Writer and Copy Editor – Wrote and developed the layout for every piece of marketing collateral supporting this event. They also prepared monthly progress reports, the final project report and the Case Study of the project for the client.
  • Project Manager – Guaranteed all deadlines were met on time and on budget. They managed the client relationship with the BGE project team and coordinated all subcontractors including catering, venue, printers, still photography, and others.
  • Account Executive – Worked with the local Baltimore media to pitch and place stories in the media about BGE, its CEO Calvin Butler and this event. The account executive also coordinated the teams on-site at the event.

Account Coordinator – Developed the presentation to be delivered to BGE/Exelon executives summarizing the event. They also assisted the account executive in working on media relations and earned media opportunities.

The day of the event, SRB Communications managed oversight of registration, set up of signage, execution of staging, audio visual, and management of catering services, volunteers and volunteer performers. Our post-event work included conducting extensive research and interviewing key executives to compose two case studies on how to plan for and implement a corporate anniversary yearlong campaign.

 As the first gas utility in the country, BGE wanted to be able to have collateral that could be shared and passed down to other companies to help prepare them for a milestone like this. The case studies outlined the approaches used, the core team members needed, the audiences involved, the event schedule and timeline of the yearlong initiative, and key takeaways from the experience. Additionally, we prepared an Executive-level PowerPoint presentation summarizing the company history, the 200-year celebration, the events that occurred, and the collateral that was produced.