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The Client: Entergy New Orleans, Inc (ENOI), an electric and gas utility that serves Louisiana’s Orleans Parish, provides electricity to nearly 197,000 customers and natural gas to some 105,000 customers. The company is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations.

The Project: Ninemile Napoleon-Derbigny Transmission System Upgrade representing a $30 million capital investment in the electric transmission infrastructure required by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator prior to deactivating the aging Michoud generating facility; and, to enhance reliability, increase transmission capacity and help ensure availability of affordable power.

The Estopinal Group (TEG) developed and implemented a proactive strategic communications strategy providing easy to understand messages targeting stakeholders, critical audiences and key communicators. Using multiple media channels (traditional and new, microsite, face-to-face), this strategy emphasized commitment to a safe accident-free environment (Safety is Job Number One) and demonstrated environmental sensitivity and situational awareness (multiple crews working 10-hour days using large equipment in a high density urban environment with “progress fatigue” from numerous construction projects).

Branded Power to Grow NOLA, public communications emphasized how the technological upgrade enhanced reliability, increased transmission capacity and helped ensure the availability of local power to support continued economic growth and development for New Orleans.

In areas impacted directly by project work, three-phase “critical zone messaging” and coordinated public outreach raised awareness in preparation of work, provided information and instructions so residents and businesses could plan, and alerted as to work time, location and safety measures.

TEG also developed a detailed crisis/contingency communications plan that took into account the need for a designated crisis communications team with well-defined areas of expertise. Holding statements were prepared for a number of contingencies (high water and flooding, weather, complex interstate crossings, injury to properties and/or persons).

Power to Grow NOLA began in June 2015 and ended in March 2016 – accident free, without customer complaint, ahead of schedule and under budget. The entire project team was recognized by Entergy executives for work excellence, and ENOI’s President and Chief Executive noted The Estopinal Group’s significant contribution in the area of strategic communications.

TEG Areas of Responsibility

  • Strategic Communications Planning, Design and Implementation
    Work Products: Proactive Strategic Communications Strategy; Measures, Evaluations and Revisions
  • Project Brand Development and Reputation Management
    Work Products: Brand Compliant Editorial/Collateral Materials, Internal and External Presentations
  • Creative Services
    Work Products: Content and Graphic Design for All Collateral Materials (Brochures, Fact Sheets, Door Hangers), User-Friendly Work/Progress Maps, Illustrations and Website Programming and Design
  • Media Relations
    Work Products: News Releases, Editorials, Advisories, Progress Reports, Traffic and Segment Alerts, Messaging and Interview Preparation for Company Executives, Track/Archive Media Clips
  • Targeted Communications – Critical Audiences, Key Communicators and Stakeholders
    Work Products: Identify and Maintain Multiple Communication Channels, Content Addressing Specific Areas of Interest and Concern for Targeted Communications
  • Contingency/Crisis Communications
    Work Products: Develop and Implement Contingency/Crisis Communications strategy responding to and managing risk associated with crisis and/or unplanned for events in the project plan.