The Brief

Gainesville Regional Utilities, known as GRU, is a multi-service utility owned by the City of Gainesville. It is the 5th largest municipal electric utility in Florida and serves approximately 93,000 retail and wholesale customers in Gainesville and surrounding areas with electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, and telecommunications services.

GRU makes sure the city stays lit and the water keeps on pumping.


PHOS sought to create a seamless customer web experience and present GRU as a knowledgeable, modern, trustworthy, and community-focused energy provider.

The Strategy

Our strategy was based on GRU’s need and readiness for an improved public perception and customer experience. To tackle that task, we focused on three areas:

A Modernized Website

We would create a brand style that communicated authority and trust. The website would be mobile-friendly and intuitively designed for optimal user experience.

An Enhanced User Experience

To ensure every touchpoint of the GRU customer experience was enhanced, we would improve the user interface (UI) and create memorable and personal experiences through social media.

Social Media Campaign

To grow GRU’s social media following and reputation, PHOS would create Facebook ads micro-targeting audience groups with a tone that demonstrated empathy and support for customer concerns.

A Modern Brand for a Modern Utility

We unveiled a fresh, easy to use, modern website to facilitate communication between the company and its consumers.

The new website is bright, colorful, and more visual. It engages the viewer right from the very start. We created a clear path for customers to pay bills, report outages, and manage their services in an effort to make interacting with the site a pleasurable experience.

An Enhanced Public Perception

We strategized, created, and launched a new social campaign for GRU. Life+GRU is focused on turning public perception from a grudge into an appreciation. We positioned GRU through value-based living in five dimensions: productivity, health, community, commerce, and life/family.

During Hurricane Irma’s recent visit to Gainesville, a time when the community is looking to GRU for answers to their electric and water needs, there was a measurable increase in social positivity. Through social listening and tracking, and a dedication to serving the people of Gainesville, GRU successfully rode out the storm with the highest positivity ratio they have ever received on social media.

Personal Experiences Through Social

Through social media strategy, execution, monitoring, and management, GRU’s brand now touches more customers than ever before. Social media acts as a touchpoint for customers to find out about events, keep up with their local community, and ask and receive help with GRU’s services.

We’ve created a personal experience through social media that engenders confidence in the GRU team.


The results have been a measurable increase in customer-to-follower ratio, a Facebook following that has over doubled in the last year alone, and an affinity for GRU through a well-defined value proposition that is bigger than simply utility services.