With just one month to go, the general election is fast approaching. Over the past five years, there has been a significant change to communications practice. People are no longer relying on newspapers and the 10pm news to find out what is happening in the world. It is now instant, with bloggers gaining the same credibility as news channels and newspapers.
Why is this important? As Energy UK, the voice of the energy industry, we need to break through the noise and make sure our messages are being heard. The traditional press release isn’t going to cut it anymore. We have adapted our communications strategy to suit our audiences ranging from using social media for top line news and animated videos to explain energy issues, to the regular breakfast briefings hosted by Energy UK which provide a more in-depth analysis of these issues. Energy is used every day by everyone. We are always working to get people interested in the energy they use – from encouraging them to consider energy efficiency measures in their homes, to switching energy supplier or tariff to suit their energy needs. Our latest switching statistics showed 317,000 households switched energy supplier in February, which is a 28% increase from the same period last year.
Developing our communications strategy to suit the audience is key. Our Home Heat Helpline campaign is targeted towards those struggling to pay their energy bills who may be disabled or elderly. With that in mind, the information that we provide on Home Heat Helpline is easily accessible and written in plain English.
And it isn’t just consumers we need to encourage to engage with energy. The industry needs £100 billion in investment by 2020, which represents the largest infrastructure spend in the UK by any one sector, but it also needs people to make this happen. Energy UK hosts Young Energy Professional Forum events for the next generation of energy professionals, where talks are given by industry leaders and they are able to discuss hot topics whilst networking with other young energy professionals.
The next five years will inevitably see a number of changes as the energy market evolves and new technologies come into play. It is vital communications is malleable to adapt to change and advances in the industry.