Employees of Conectiv, a Wilmington-based energy service company, recently garnered a top award as the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) announced its 2001 Silver Anvil Award winners. PRSA awarded the Silver Anvil, one of the communications industry’s most prestigious awards, to the customer satisfaction communications program implemented by Conectiv.

The objective of the program, launched in early 2001, was to highlight the work that employees do to provide reliable service. Employees from across the company lent their faces and voices to communicate the steps the company was taking to provide reliable electricity while working to minimize outages and service interruptions. The most notable success of the program came in increasing Overall Customer Satisfaction in the company by 15% over the previous year, the second largest year-to-year improvement for east coast utilities.

"Every Conectiv employee contributed to the success of this program, and in turn shares in a piece of this honor," said Michael Ratchford, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Conectiv. "By speaking out on their commitment to reliable service on both a personal and company-wide level, our employees were able to bridge the gap with our customers and re-establish our tradition of high customer satisfaction."

Employees from all divisions of the company, and from every region in which the utility provides electrical service, served as the faces and voices behind the message that "Every Job is About Reliability." Employees also served as "grassroots spokespersons" through a Speakers Bureau which allowed them to communicate messages about system improvements, maintaining operations, preventing problems, and quick response.

"I’ve worked at Conectiv for over 25 years and was proud to communicate my role in maintaining reliable service," said Theresa Trader, District Resources Senior Coordinator in Conectiv’s Salisbury, Md. office. "I knew personally how effective the ads were, because folks in the community would mention that they felt a stronger connection with the company when they saw someone they knew in the ads."

Conectiv received the Silver Anvil in the Institutional Programs (Business-Services) category. This year’s competition received over 600 entries, with only 45 selected as Silver Anvil Award winners. Programs were submitted by corporations, communications firms, non-profit organizations and academic and cultural institutions from around the nation.

Conectiv, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Wilmington, Del., is focused on two core energy businesses. Conectiv Power Delivery provides safe, reliable, and affordable regulated energy delivery service to more than one million customers in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Conectiv Energy uses a sophisticated power-trading unit to optimize the value of a growing portfolio of mid-merit power plants that can start and stop quickly in response to changes in the demand for power within the PJM [Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland] power pool.