ComEd Develops an Integrated Storm Communications Plan for Severe Weather Events

Noting the increasing prevalence of severe weather across its territory, ComEd was prompted to strengthen its communications to customers before, during and after outages. Prior to 2022, ComEd did not have an integrated storm communication plan in place, and teams worked independently on storm activities. During 2022, various ComEd teams aligned on a coordinated activation plan across channels to provide a premier customer experience with proactive communications on outage resources, and to alert vendors to be ready to provide support during an upcoming storm.
ComEd also uses automated StormGeo report emails, which provide an advanced look at weather forecasts broken down by region and include a legend of weather codes based on storm severity. ComEd uses these codes to help determine the activation of various channel communications tactics such as website takeover, text messages, social media posts, advertising storm tactics, and storm emails. ComEd’s key goals included ensuring pending storm-based outage resources are properly updated and customers are equipped with the tools necessary to remain informed. As a result of its streamlined approach to internal and external communications, the utility has achieved significant channel adoption gains.
ComEd’s efforts to improve the customer experience during severe weather events won Chartwell’s Gold Best Practices Award in Outage Communications this year.


Michele Ptaszek, Manager, Customer Education & Marketing, ComEd

Michele Ptaszek is a Marketing and Customer Education Manager at ComEd who for ten years, focused exclusively on raising awareness and promoting participation in the utility’s Energy Efficiency offerings. Currently, she manages a wider breadth of ComEd’s marketing channels including customer email communications, ComEd Marketplace, retail rebates, STEM field trips and community events.

Natalie Staerkel, Sr. Marketing Specialist, ComEd

Natalie Staerkel is a Senior Marketing Specialist at ComEd who brings over 20 years of experience in advertising, retail marketing and process development experience to the team. She currently manages the marketing for ComEd Marketplace and customer- centric email marketing that includes a new customer email welcome series and storm readiness communications.

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