Power to the People: CL&P’s Crisis Communication Response Following the 2011 October Nor’easter


  • Susan Grantham University of Hartford


crisis communication, credibility, strategic planning


This case highlights the need for strategic crisis communication planning when employing the public information model of communication following a natural disaster. In October 2011, a nor’easter hit the state of Connecticut and resulted in the majority of residents losing power for an extended period of time. Following the storm, stakeholders perceived messaging from Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P), the major utility company, about the restoration timeline as lacking credibility. Subsequent investigations revealed that the actual restoration work was indeed conducted in a timely and professional manner. However, the poor communication throughout the restoration timeline damaged CL&P’s reputation, resulted in CL&P’s CEO and President Jeffrey Butler resigning from his position, and subsequent changes in crisis communication planning within CL&P.