Communication Essential for Success of Renewable EnergyWed, 02/19/2014 - 17:41
Influencing leaders and public opinion is an essential element in the success of any renewable energy project. In a broader scheme, policymakers, environmental authorities, as well as academic, corporate and community leaders must be informed about the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. But how much do traditional and non-traditional communication strategies, such as social media and web interaction, influence the image of the renewable sector in Mexico? Luis Manuel López, Partner of LR&A Business and Marketing, identifies the challenges of creating a successful communication strategy in Mexico. He notes that, in digital terms, only 35% of the Mexican population has access to the internet, and communication largely depends on public policies. “Mexico is such an unbalanced country and there are many Mexicos. It is difficult to achieve a consensus, and without consensus it is impossible to influence the perception of Mexicans. Unfortunately, political concerns come before the wellbeing of citizens. As long as there is a gap between what is being said and done, the unbalance will remain,” says López. He claims that this situation hinders any communication strategy because efforts only reach the middle class, which might be perceived as elitist. “How can you provide useful information to an indigenous person that does not speak Spanish? Providing solutions to these challenges is where we focus our efforts,” he explains. LR&A Business and Marketing began as a consulting firm in 2008. This year, many political and industrial figures approached the firm asking for its services regarding advertising and communications. LR&A Business and Marketing then specialized in providing consulting services to high profile individuals. Its services became known by word of mouth and soon the firm had to take the next step and become a full-blown communication and strategy agency.
The agency has many clients involved in sustainability and the renewable energy market. For example, LR&A Business and Marketing took care of all sustainability issues and press affairs for the past administration of Mexico City, and its services were extended to content creation and ally mapping with important organizations. The creation of alliances is crucial since it enables LR&A Business and Marketing to generate a renewable energy lobbying strategy that might have an impact on the political agenda of the city and not simply act as a promotional tool for the renewable industry. “It is not easy to put a green issue on the government’s agenda if it is not supported by the industry. It is a fact that Mexican companies are just starting to give importance to sustainability and green issues,” states López. All actors involved in the sector agree about the importance of using communication as a tool to promote sustainability initiatives, but for López it is not just about advertising and promotion, it is about fostering a cultural change. “In Mexico everything is about culture,” he concludes.