Creating Smart Messengers: Key to Generating Widespread Energy Project Support

September 26, 2018

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Communicating about complex energy projects effectively, and in a way that resonates with policy-makers and non-experts alike is vital to creating a winning message.

It’s key to have educated supporters who can talk beyond a one-pager.

Effective communication on energy topics in 2018 almost always needs to address debates around carbon outputs versus renewables, and often includes economic impacts and job creation opportunities.

However, related communications also can focus on land use, engineering, safety and extraction, as well as more complex benefits that individual energy sources can bring to the table, be they traditional fuels, bridge fuels or renewables.

Anticipate Public Headwinds

Many projects meet public headwinds regardless of messaging, with agitators and ideologues who oppose nearly every type of project. For this reason, renewables and traditional energy sources alike can meet opposition from the same type of protesters. Opponents will not be persuaded, but often cannot address more complex issues.

Delivering an effective message to recruit and engage supporters who are educated about the issues at hand is critical to project success. Thoughtfully identifying target audiences, creating a clear message and implementing multiple platforms — including email, social media, print advertising, direct mail, radio and television — play an important role in garnering widespread support.

In addition, engaging educated and trained third-party advocates will help ensure that policy-makers truly hear credible messages beyond the high-level talking points.

McGuireWoods Consulting’s MWCAdvocacy team has years of experience managing campaigns, both political and issue-based, and can work to deliver messages that resonate with policy-makers, regulators and citizens alike.


This article is part of a series of reports on our experience in the energy sector. Read other articles in the series: