After an extensive search, Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has chosen The Richards Group of Dallas, Texas, as the agency for a multimillion-dollar consumer education campaign that will roll out in 2016.
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The Richards Group, the largest independent advertising agency in the country and the winner of numerous awards, will help PERC carry out an integrated campaign designed to persuade existing propane customers to buy additional propane-fueled equipment and prospective customers to switch to propane for a variety of applications in the home, including space heating, water heating, cooking, clothes drying, and fireplaces.

A team of industry leaders headed up the agency search. They included Scott Brockelmeyer of Ferrellgas and Kirk McKullick of Growmark, chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the PERC Advisory Committee's Market Outreach and Training Working Group.

The consumer campaign will represent the first major outreach to home-heating customers and other consumers since the lifting of a restriction on PERC activities in April 2015. The restriction, triggered by a Commerce Department analysis of energy prices, had been in place since August 2009.

“We have a great story to tell. Now that the restriction is lifted, it is time to move forward with a consumer education campaign that drives growth and promotes the value of propane applications,” PERC President and CEO Roy Willis said. “Done right, communicating the benefits of our fuel and the products that use it will change consumer attitudes and behavior toward propane.”

While restricted to training, safety, and research and development activities, PERC helped bring to market 40 different products that, in aggregate over the last three years, have sold more than 122,000 units that, in turn, consumed more than 280 million gallons of propane and returned at least $70 million in added value to the propane industry. “Many of these products will be producing value for years to come,” Willis said.

PERC Chief Marketing Officer Dennis Vegas will be the staff lead for the consumer campaign. “After leading marketing communications efforts for Americans for Prosperity, Enron, and AT&T, Dennis brings a wealth of experience to this really important campaign and was instrumental in organizing the agency search, along with Director of Communications Gregg Walker,” Willis said.