How effective has messaging been at cutting through in a very crowded sector?
We have been careful in trying to carve out our own space within the energy sector. We focus almost exclusively on the uses and benefits of natural gas.
We don’t talk about the production process. That way, we’ve been very effective at communicating what our members want us to communicate to the public.
Talk about the Think About It campaign.
It’s a soft call to action to get people to do something about energy. We held Think About Energy summits in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, which brought natural gas users and thought leaders together. We had conferences about the benefits of natural gas. Speakers included former US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.
We hope there is a heightened awareness among policymakers and regulators, but the focus is more toward the general public. The main message we want to communicate is that natural gas is cleaner, affordable, reliable, and it’s abundant now – which it was not before.
We are trying to create a more positive public policy environment, as well as more positive consumer environment for natural gas.
How are you conducting outreach?
It is a fully integrated campaign. We have a robust TV campaign and the placements are different than the average advocacy effort by a trade association. We have CNN, MSNBC, and Today Show placements, but also have Bravo, HGTV, and the Food Network as significant components of our mix.
Since the campaign began, Twitter followers have doubled to more than 28,000. Facebook followers have grown from 28,800 to more than 72,200. Facebook and Twitter audiences respond to material differently. On Facebook, we are using a lot more native video. On Twitter, we use more traditional photography.
We have partnered with Georgia Power, Florida Power and Light, and UPS on ads about the benefits of natural gas. With Georgia Power, it was about a power plant converted to natural gas. Florida Power and Light was the first co-located solar and natural gas facility in the country and UPS has an enormous fleet of natural gas vehicles.
We have created an effective and simple frame for our messaging, and it has been working. People are getting both our advertising and our other messaging in surround sound now.