Pepco Holdings


Capital Grid Public Education

Marketing Challenge

As part of the utility company’s commitment to providing safe, reliable and affordable energy to customers, the Capital Grid project is intended to modernize the energy grid and increase the grid’s capacity. The project includes building a new substation, replacing aging infrastructure for three existing substations and installing a 10-mile underground transmission cable. A comprehensive communications and community engagement campaign was needed to inform and educate customers about the project’s benefits.
Pepco serves nearly 900,000 residents in the National Capital Area – Washington, D.C., Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.


The Work

Over three years, SRB Communications developed and executed a marketing, public education and community engagement initiative. Our comprehensive communications strategy and proactive approach was to educate residents, business owners and stakeholders, especially multicultural communities, on the importance of these infrastructure improvements. We provided strategy, branding, creative, print and digital design assets, i.e. marketing collateral for outreach efforts, project fact sheets and brochures, website landing page, interactive map, event posters, flyers, construction door hangers and more.
When it comes to connecting and engaging with customers, it is important to be an integral part of the community. So, we incorporated a solid communications plan in tandem with the outreach and public engagement strategy. Our community engagement strategy was aligned with project milestones, calendar year events and community events. We developed an event schedule and hosted events prior to construction work in neighborhoods, attended  events that had a large community presence and scheduled meetings for target audiences, i.e. open houses, retailer breakfasts, design charrettes and meetings.




 Our combined communications, community outreach and public engagement tactics  proved to be successful in securing project advocates, educating the public and providing an inclusive environment for Pepco and its customers. Our marketing collateral delivered general project messaging, specific project updates and event notifications, which further increased exposure and awareness that helped drive key community stakeholders’ attendance to forums, events and community meetings. Our team conducted daily monitoring of traditional and social media, neighborhood listserves and online communications to identify and archive references to Pepco and Capital Grid.
Finally, we created an earned media strategy that was executed during the pre-construction phases. Our earned media efforts for Pepco encompassed a distinct and tactical approach for engagement and exposure to customers, the community at large, stakeholders, business and community leaders and the local media. We identified key customer touchpoints, drafted news article topics and pitched content to targeted media. As a result, several media outlets published the work.