By Charlotte Webster
So, no homes have taken up The Green Deal since its launch five months ago. £3 million was spent on communications. Someone’s got to be under the spotlight this week…
How DECC managed to unlock this marketing budget from the frozen comms coffers who knows. The point is, it’s a lot of cash. Not only this, but it was spent communicating a poorly structured scheme. The communications itself was clearly sub standard too. We gave our thoughts on what to do earlier in the year.
We must ask the question, what could have been the impact if this £3million was spent on communicating the merits (real merits) of other low carbon initiatives? Let’s take solar power, for example. Here is a decent proposition, misunderstood. And misunderstood because of the Government’s mismanagement of the Feed-in tariff scheme. It still provides a strong ROI – and will continue to do so, increasingly.
This week Caroline Lucas MP rightly spoke out that the solar industry needs to tackle this miscommunication and confront the negative media continuing to surround the technology. We agree, our report late last year confirmed just how poorly the majority of the media reports on renewable energy – only 21% of articles positive towards the industry.
This is why we spent months last year finding the best brains in social media and PR, to come up with a killer communications campaign for the solar industry. Giving food to both traditional and social media. But, guess what? The solar market took such a dive through miscommunication that the coffers ran dry before the campaign could take off.
Two things from this:
1. What conclusions can be drawn from The Green Deal failure?
A) Get your proposition right first
B) Work out what your audience actually wants to hear & tell exceptional stories with lots of facts
C) Don’t waste cash on too much advertising, social media can do a great job if navigated intelligently.
2. What should renewables do? Show ’em how it’s really done. It’s time.
Charlotte is head of clean technology at CCgroup, having joined them in June 2012. Former PR Manager at Solarcentury, Charlotte has over eight years’ Clean Technology and sustainable business PR experience. Charlotte co-launched SolarAid, a charity that aims to replace kerosene lamps with solar alternatives in developing countries. She holds a BSc. in Geographical Sciences from the University of Bristol and has trained in PR, journalism and documentary production.