How do you convince lawmakers to modernize the state’s electrical grid?

The Smart Grid is a 21st century power infrastructure being built by ComEd that will provide more efficient management and usage of electricity throughout the state. When critical state funding for the program was cut in 2012, ComEd turned to Grisko to develop an effective public affairs and public relations campaign that would garner support for legislation to get the project back on track.

A major hurdle standing in the way of the Smart Grid’s future was the threat of a veto by the governor, so it was critical to demonstrate the wide range of support for this initiative. Every vote counted since the legislature would have to override the governor’s veto with a two-thirds majority vote. We had a 90-day window to get the word out and mobilize influential stakeholders throughout the Chicagoland region and across Illinois.

Recharge Illinois.

Grisko created the Recharge Illinois campaign, rooted in simple and compelling messages that focused on how the Smart Grid would recharge the Illinois economy, communities and infrastructure. We developed an identity and logo for the campaign along with a website where supporters of the Smart Grid could directly contact their state legislators.

Through our community and stakeholder outreach effort, we also enlisted the voices of influential labor, faith-based, minority business and municipal leaders throughout Illinois to help push the needle with positive messages in the media and through direct communications to the Illinois General Assembly.

ComEd’s partnership with Grisko was a major factor in passing the Illinois Smart Grid bill. Under a tight timeframe, they created a targeted strategy, identified the best messages to use and mobilized our supporters. Their strategic advice is always spot-on. That’s why we continue to work with them on a long-term government affairs engagement effort Fidel Marquez, Chief Governmental and Community Relations Officer, ComEd

A smarter grid. A better energy future for Illinois.

The result of this public affairs effort was the successful override of the governor’s veto in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly. This marked a legislative victory and turning point in the future of the Illinois Smart Grid program. With funding restored, ComEd is now able to complete the modernization of Illinois’ outdated electricity infrastructure, creating thousands of jobs, fueling innovation and improving energy efficiency across the state.