BUCHANAN, NY: RF Binder Partners has been hired to provide communications and PR support for the Indian Point Emergency Planning public awareness campaign. The agency has been charged with educating the public about preparedness relating to an emergency at the power plant. Concern about an attack on the plant has risen since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Entergy Nuclear Northeast, owner of the Indian Point Energy Center, will fund the project, but RF Binder will work on behalf of a private- and public-sector partnership between Entergy Nuclear Northeast, New York State, and Westchester, Rockland, Orange, and Putnam counties, all of which house residents within 10 miles of the plant.
"This is an immensely complex client-agency relationship in that the agency is faced with the daunting task of pulling together a private-public entity for the purpose of communicating a complex message with a single voice," said Larry Gottlieb, director of corporate communications for Entergy Nuclear Northeast.
The campaign blueprints call for an updated version of the emergency-planning booklet (a FEMA requirement) to be distributed to households, businesses, government agencies, and schools in the area via direct mail. The booklet will be produced in several languages to effectively target the diverse area's multicultural populations.
RF Binder will also coordinate a media relations effort designed to encourage the media to carry messages of emergency preparedness to the community.
"The program is going to focus on the communication of the plan to all of the key constituents in that area," said Amy Binder, CEO and executive managing director of RF Binder. "A big part of this is empowering business leaders as emergency leaders. People are going to turn to them for information."
According to Gottlieb, previous emergency-planning booklets were well researched and distributed, but target audiences did not effectively receive the messages.
"I think when you boil it down, [the PR campaign is structured like] a product launch. You want the agency to achieve certain milestones in public awareness, use of the product, and the public's willingness to maintain a relationship with the product. If you don't treat it as such, it won't be as effective," he said.