B2C , Energy & Sustainability
AVANGRID, a large energy services and delivery company based in New York and New England, was working on advancing a $2 billion transmission line upgrade across New York state and in Maine.
The transmission upgrades were developed to comply with new requirements from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which were to provide direction for future energy grid planning and create a more reliable grid. However, the heightened community and political activism concerning projects of this scale, as well as the generally negative reputation of energy companies, made it difficult to gain local acceptance.
Mower was engaged to lead the community outreach, needed because many of these projects were subject to state and local approval processes such as SEQRA, Article VII, CPCN and local zoning. AVANGRID needed grassroots tactics to communicate directly with those most affected by project upgrades, and to deliver the message that these efforts were moving their communities toward a renewable future.
With experience in energy and sustainability marketing and public relations, our specialists know that positive perception of an energy company can make a huge difference, so we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.
You can’t really know a place without being there, so Mower conducted site visits in all 19 counties where the line upgrades would take place and researched the background of each community in the project area. We studied the demographics, societal and economic factors, relevant media and influencers, governments at all levels and local economies.
We were responsible for social and traditional media monitoring, meaning that we talked to community members, followed social media groups, and sat in on board meetings. We created assets, including factsheets, handouts and phone scripts. All in all, we got to know the people in order to make relevant plans for AVANGRID to act on.
From all of our research and public affairs work, we developed deep background reports and analysis on all communities impacted by the project. For each county, we created a list of potential issues and a list of opportunities. We used our data and onsite experiences to develop tactics to advance the project, which AVANGRID then implemented.
Because Mower took the time to study the unique perspective of each area, AVANGRID was able to tailor its approach for each of the 19 counties and convince community members that this was a positive environmental upgrade for their hometowns. To us, that’s pretty powerful.
Mower created real connections with community members in the 19 counties affected by this energy upgrade. Because we were honest about AVANGRID’s plans and listened to community members’ concerns, we were able to generate a comprehensive report on each county and provide practical suggestions as to how AVANGRID should proceed.
Key Brand as Friend® drivers:
Hey! Our name is pronounced Mōw-rrr, like this thing I’m pushing.