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Session V
May 15, 4:15–5 p.m.

"Turning Around 'The Most Hated Company in America' Using Research as a Strategy Base"

You’re asked to turn around the “Most Hated Company in America.” Blistering press, customer dissatisfaction and political fallout over service reliability and outage restoration led a major utility to transform its communications strategy. Myra Oppel, APR, regional communications vice president, Pepco Holdings Inc.; Laura L. Monica, vice president, corporate communications, Pepco Holdings Inc.; and MaryBeth Vrees, director, customer communications and marketing, Pepco Holdings, Inc., discuss key tactics that significantly boosted customer satisfaction — including communications strategies developed to align key initiatives and operations objectives, and to integrate communications to reach customers on multiple channels. Find out:

Laura L. Monica is currently vice president, corporate communications, at Pepco Holdings, Inc. Before joining Pepco, Monica served as senior vice president of corporate communications and external affairs at American Water. She also founded High Point Communications and was president for more than 15 years.


Myra Humphries Oppel, APR, is currently regional director, communications, at Pepco Holdings, Inc. Oppel began her communications career of more than three decades in newspapers and The Associated Press before transitioning to Northeast Utilities. She worked as an award-winning political media consultant and PR consultant until she joined Pepco Holdings Inc.



MaryBeth Vrees is currently director, customer communications and marketing, at Pepco Holdings, Inc. Vrees brings 20 years of integrated communications strategy, media relations and leadership experience. She began in TV news and was an anchor and reporter.