Viking Voyageur Services Provided

The Client
Viking Voyageur Gas Transmission - St. Paul, Minnesota

The Issue
Viking Voyageur Gas Transmission needed a public affairs campaign to support its proposed 773-mile, 42-inch, high pressure pipeline designed to bring economical Canadian natural gas to the Upper Midwest.

The Actions
Neil Palmer & Associates created a public affairs plan that identified key audiences and key messages. The agency took other steps as follows:
Prepared and presented a training module for land and technical staff before field agents were deployed to request permission from landowners to survey properties along the proposed pipeline route.
Developed information materials for local government officials and media, as well as landowners.
Acted as a liaison between the project and the proposed route in central and southern Wisconsin.
Arranged and conducted public meetings with landowners, elected officials and local government staff.
Negotiated solutions acceptable to all parties when issues arose.
Conducted third-party outreach to business, economic development organizations and local opinion leaders.
Served as part of a public affairs team that oversaw all external communication.

The Results
The program demonstrated the need for additional natural gas and helped the project gain editorial endorsement from major media in Wisconsin. The natural gas market is highly competitive and in 1998, Viking Gas withdrew from the project, as did the remaining partners, citing lack of commitment from natural gas shippers to financially underpin the project.