With a nod to Park Howell, two news items from this week reinforced for me the power of telling the right story in order to energize sustainability initiatives.
* GE proactively started to help explain how the FCC National Broadband Plan – which on its surface would seem like a TV/Internet-centric initiative – actually had important long-term impact on the smart grid and individual energy consumption. As Smart-Grid.TMCNet.Com’s Jon Arnold very keenly points out,
“…mainstream brands like GE are in the perfect spot to tell this story to the public, and show utilities why broadband has an important role to play in the smart grid. The stimulus funding has been welcome news for utilities, and part of the message here is to show that broadband will help them get a better return on this investment. In my view, if other major smart grid/energy players follow suit – IBM, Emerson, Cisco (News – Alert), etc. – the message will become that much clearer, and more difficult for utilities to dismiss.”
Jon’s exactly right. If these major brands get their marketing muscle behind this, utilities will have to take notice.
*The Governor’s Wind Energy Coalition publicly announced a call for a National Renewable Energy Standard. They chose to focus their “story” on competition for jobs, a powerful message to rally their states and timely with Obama being called on to spur jobs instead of health care.
“The lack of a long-term renewable energy requirement in the United States is resulting in the loss of wind-manufacturing investments in our states to Europe and other areas,” the governors said in the report.”
Both of these examples boiled down diverse complex issues for different energy styles, trimming national storylines down to easy to digest messages for individuals:
1) Broadband= short and long-term benefits in all areas of your life
2) National standards can = jobs
And that’s the power of strong and clear marketing in sustainability. Taking what can be overwhelming for average citizens and making it not only more understandable, but relevant and meaningful.