Opposition is the culprit behind many delays in renewable energy (RE). Some is due to misconceptions, while others are legitimate environmental concerns. Because the growth of renewable energy seems inevitable, many governments and stakeholders worldwide have developed communications strategies to debunk myths and provide actual facts about RE. The IEA-RETD recently released “Communication Best-Practices for Renewable Energy (RE-COMMUNICATE) – Scoping Study” analyzing 15 case studies on renewable energy communications campaigns and highlighting areas for improvement. Below are a few areas that the study notes can increase campaign success:
1. Increase partnerships to increase RE communications campaign funding. Currently, the lack of funding resources represents a significant barrier to effective communications strategies.
2. Thorough pre-campaign research aids in better understanding the public’s opinion on RE. This helps segment and define the audience allowing the creation of specific, targeted communications messages.
3. RE campaign strategies should be developed in stages to maximize effectiveness and impact.
4. Behavioral economics should be taken into consideration when developing RE communications strategies. The goal is to influence attitudes, raise awareness, and change behaviors toward RE.
5. For quality control, ongoing and post-campaign evaluation should be consistently applied at all stages of the RE communications process. The results can be used for future campaigns.
6. Proactive communication strategies are key when responding to negative media coverage about RE. Increased communication with the media helps avoid misrepresentation of the facts.
More targeted, effective renewable energy communications campaigns are possible through the use of consistent, and comprehensive approaches to pre- and post-campaign development. Read the entire case study here or visit International Energy Agency – Renewable Energy Technology Deployment (IEA-RETD).
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