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.
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.
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.
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.