Pepco’s Communications Strategy During Washington, D.C. Electrical Power Outage is Abysmal

Disasters happen, and when they do its important to band together as a team and respond.

I’m sure that the crews working to fix the current power outage in the Washington area that has cut off electricity for hundreds of thousands of people – mostly in Montgomery County, Maryland – are working tirelessly, and making progress.  But what’s absolutely clear is that Pepco’s public communications effort has been terrible.

Twenty-five hours into the crisis, Pepco only published a news release outlining its progress or explaining the recovery process in any degree of detail in the last few hours. 1  The last release was posted last night. 2  Pepco essentially went most of the business day immediately after the crisis without posting anything outlining what happened.  And its web site even went down this morning. 3

Obviously, the priority is for the Washington area to get back up safely.  But as the questions mount on the adequacy of its communications during the crisis,4, it’s important that Pepco not forget and make good use of the lessons learned.

  1. http://www.pepco.com/welcome/news/releases/archives/2010/article.aspx?cid=1478. []
  2. http://www.pepco.com/welcome/news/releases/archives/2010/article.aspx?cid=1476. []
  3. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/local-breaking-news/dc/pepco-problems-force-website-d.html. []
  4. see http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/breaking/fenty-frustrated-with-pepco-storm-response-99260414.html. []

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