While Congress and state legislatures are demanding movement toward consumer choice and open markets, their regulatory agencies are reluctant and concerned about the impact of market competition on the political constituencies they have historically protected through rate-making and policy intervention. Padilla Speer Beardsley understands the complicated issues and difficult conflicts that must be resolved. We can help companies communicate those issues, and the uncertain economic and political realities that will intervene in the short term, to their key publics.

How do we do it?

There are a multitude of statements that you could say about any issue, product or service. However, of all those statements, only a few matter. These powerful messages can influence or persuade key audiences. Using our systematic research approach, we can help you identify the messages and opinions that make the greatest difference to your success. In short, we help you move the meter on public opinion.

What makes us different?

Our experience. Since 1986, PSB has worked with investor-owned electric utilities and natural gas distribution systems serving the Midwest, specifically in Nebraska, Iowa, the Dakotas, Colorado, Texas and Minnesota. Our work has involved supporting legislative initiatives at the state level; conducting grassroots referendum campaigns to defeat municipal condemnation and takeover of investor-owned utilities; and communicating rate case filings. Specifically with regard to municipal takeover issues, we develop extensive public education campaigns with the goal of improving customers’ perceived value of existing services and educating the public about the benefits of investor-owned distribution systems.

We have conducted extensive public opinion polls on consumer perceptions of natural gas price and service issues, and perceptions of deregulation in the electric and natural gas industries.

Case Studies

"As one of the country's largest utility companies, Xcel Energy (formerly Northern States Power) is often involved in high profile issues — from natural disasters such as tornadoes, to public controversy about a new facility, to more positive tasks such as promoting a community initiative.

We've relied on PSB for public relations counsel and support for more than 10 years, and we look forward to an even stronger relationship in the future."

Beth Willis
Vice President, Communications
Xcel Energy