DAVID PETROU, President, Eisner Petrou and Associates, Washington,
Nobody wants to have Chernobyl or Three Mile Island dredged up again
Everyone knows what happened and besides, those are yesterday's negative
headlines. A strong positive case can be made effectively through public
relations. Nuclear power is very 1960s; many of the extant nuclear
plants throughout the US are collecting cobwebs. Rebuilding or
renovating them could prove more costly than constructing new electric
power stations. Federal and state governments should stress the power of
conservation, forming coalitions with non-extremist 'green'
organizations, such as The Nature Conservancy, to create an awareness
campaign Americans would buy into. The US auto industry knows that just
making vehicles five percent more fuel-efficient would save decades of
crude oil. From a PR standpoint, that's something the Bush
administration is yet to grasp.
PETER SHANKMAN, President, The Geek Factory, New York
Mr. Burns, from The Simpsons said it best: 'A lifetime of working in a
nuclear power plant has given me a healthy green glow and left me as
impotent as a Nevada boxing commissioner.' Those wishing to stop nuclear
power should play to that which would work best for them - the thought
(however true or untrue) that nuclear power is unsafe. A PR campaign
incorporating the following items should be implemented: 1. Send out
plush three-eyed fish to people who live within 50 miles of any proposed
nuclear power site, reminding them that 'Nuclear power is clean, safe,
and healthy!' 2. Try to lobby Congress for 'Geiger Counter Day,' making
it as important to check for radiation as it is to change the batteries
in your smoke detector. 3. Have press releases written on green,
glow-in-the-dark paper, promoting the many uses of nuclear power. (As an
added bonus, the glow-in-the-dark stuff should rub off onto the hands of
the reporters reading the release.)
MELA STEVENS, President and creative director, 823 Productions, New
Public awareness about where energy supplies come from or how they are
distributed is very low, according to surveys cited in Newsweek (May 7,
2001). In a campaign to stop the comeback of nuclear energy, we would
focus on a strategy that to most laymen 'nuclear' connotes Three Mile
Island and Chernobyl. This vision is the foundation for our key message
point: 'Nuclear energy: pre-sumed dangerous until proven safe.' An
intensive six-month media relations campaign would focus on two levels.
First, the use of a spokesperson that would present the facts on the
consequences of potential accidents and the steps that are not being
considered in the argument to refocus attention on nuclear energy.
Second, we would focus on children, as these issues will have more
impact on them and their future families. Working with public schools,
we might ask children (fifth, sixth and seventh graders) to express
their solution, alternative to and/or wish for non-use of nuclear energy
- through words and artwork - to showcase their voices. It would provide
a simple, direct and effective message.
SARAH DURHAM, Principal, Big Duck Studio, New York
It's interesting that the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island accidents
weren't incentive enough to stop nuclear power. We'd want to tackle it
by creating an alternative power brand. Let's call it 'Bright Power.'
This would be an entirely new category of power that will generate
positive press and provide branding opportunities that consumers would
find engaging. The PR and branding behind 'Bright Power' would seem so
much newer, fresher and dynamic that the smart consumer would be willing
to make the effort to switch. We'd position 'Bright Power' as 'the clear
alternative for bright people.' We'd support it with information that
made nuclear power look like power for old fuddy duddies - perhaps in
part by using dated visuals of reactors.