After Superstorm Sandy passed through the service territory of a major southeastern utility in 2012, impacted utilities in the northeastern US requested mutual assistance to help restore the thousands of customers without power.
In response, the utility deployed over 1,000 utility workers to aid restoration efforts in the northeast. In her previous role as senior director of external communications at the utility, Marci Grossman, now a senior consultant at Hoffman, developed strategy and oversaw execution of tactical media relations during this process. This included developing and distributing news releases and media alerts for the media about the mutual assistance efforts; posting social media content; proactively reaching out to media in the Northeast and at home; creating and placing digital billboard ads on the interstate that welcomed the utility workers home; developing messaging; and coaching and preparing the utility workers for media interviews once they arrived home safely. Marci also supervised creation and media placement of videos and photos of the crews departing for the northeast, arriving in the affected areas, and restoring service. She also helped coordinate efforts with the northeast utilities.
As a result of Marci and her team’s efforts, the utility received positive feedback and posts from customers on social media channels, and garnered significant media coverage locally, regionally, and nationally. Her team also developed an external communication plan for future mutual assistance efforts, which included examples of activities during Sandy (ads, news releases) and template materials to adapt accordingly during future events.