You may not see yourself as a natural promoter, but if you're not sharing your energy saving stories, you're missing valuable opportunities. In fact, communicating your energy management success can be as important as achieving savings in the first place. As I discussed in an Energy Leader webinar, there are many good reasons to promote your energy savings to your stakeholders.
The key is to promote your stories (it's better to tell stories than just facts) in the right places. Right places include places where your stakeholders will see them, and places that complement your organization's brand.
If you don't currently have a process or plan for communicating your energy savings, we'd like to give you some ideas. Start small and start slow, but start somewhere. Here are 20 ways to promote your energy savings. Find out what works best for you.
1. Blog/Website Post
A blog is a great place to share savings stories. Once you have a blog or website post, you can promote it other places. If you don't have a blog, you can set one up in 20 minutes using WordPress. Our client, Howard County, Maryland has a blog for its sustainability office. Their employees write on a variety of energy management topics including savings.
2. Press Release
Your press office or public relations team may handle press releases, but often they're looking for content. The point of a press release is to distribute news to media, who can then distribute to the public. Your savings story might create the positive press your organization needs. There are free and paid press release services. Here's an example of a press release about State of Maryland energy savings.
3. Case Study
Case studies explain energy savings in a practical way. You can produce a case study internally or have it produced externally. Case studies present a problem that needed to be solved and the solution that solved it. They show you as a problem solver. We're always looking for clients to feature; here's a case study we produced about Miami-Dade County's energy challenges.
There are numbers of ways you can use Twitter for the cause of energy managment. I wrote a blog post on 6 ways energy managers can use Twitter. If you don't personally have access to your organization's Twitter account, you can pass content to the people who do. They're probably hungry for helpful content. Here's an example of how Cenergistic used Twitter to promote their client's savings:
Facebook may be a great place if your people are there. Post your story on your company's page so your fans see it. If they like it, they can share it easily on their page. Many people look for news on Facebook before they look anywhere else.
LinkedIn is a professional online network. LinkedIn provides a variety of means to share your stories: 1) on your personal page; 2) on your organization's page; 3) to a group.
Pinterest is a website for displaying graphics and pictures. What's helpful is that you can link your graphic to a web page or blog post to bring your audience to your destination. If Pinterest is a good place for your people, you'll have fun posting images. At EnergyCAP, we discovered that Pinterest isn't where our people are, since only about 5% of Americans use Pinterest during the work day,
8. Email Signature
Your email signature is an easy and free place to put a story. It's great for personal branding, and if you keep it under 140 characters, you can use it on Twitter also.
If your organization or department distributes a newsletter, then probably they're looking for good content. Why not add an interesting energy savings story? Again, you might not be responsible to publish the newsletter, but if you reach out, you may find they're hungry for content.
10. Corporate Report
Our client Forest City Enterprises, published a corporate sustainability report for their stakeholders. They included energy savings stories in the body of the report to promote their success at the properties they manage. It added some vim and vigor to their corporate report.
11. Company Meeting
Do your company meetings seem void of life? Next time one is scheduled, ask to share a savings story. It can add drama and boost morale.
Perhaps your organization has a intranet, which is an internal website accessible only by your organization. Intranets can contain job postings, department policies, company announcements, etc. Add your savings story to the intranet to broadcast the news to your coworkers.
13. Email Your Superiors
This may seem like an unnecessary step, but I recommend you make it mandatory. Don't assume your superiors or stakeholders will see your tweets or read the newsletter. Email them directly to assure they hear the story.
Infographics are graphical displays or information. They present data in a meaningful and attractive way to grab attention. If you don't have the graphical talent on your team, look beyond your department. If not within your organization, there are designers looking for freelance work. An effective infographic can make a way for your story--impacting branding--in a variety of places. We regularly create infographics for our client case studies:
15. Direct Media Pitch
A direct media pitch is when you reach out to specific media outlets with your story. For example, let's say you email your local newspaper's business or energy reporter with your story. Or you contact industry newsletters, websites, or magazines. As time goes on, build a media list so when stories happen, you can easily contact them. We emailed American City and County magazine about a client savings story and they included in their issue.
16. Industry Event
Share your story at a local or regional industry event. Associations are looking for solutions to the challenges their members face. If you solved an energy management problem, organizations like you want to solve the same. You can introduce a solution!
17. Client Invoices
If your organization sends invoices, there is probably a lot of wasted space at the bottom. Use the white space to your advantage by posting a story there. Lessen the sting of sticker shock by showing value that you bring.
Slideshare.net is a website to share slidedecks like Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, PDFs, even infographics. Searchers can then find presentations by keywords. Why not put your story in presentation format and post on SlideShare? Once it's there, you can embed it on a web page or blog or send the link around directly. All of our public presentations are on SlideShare.
Video is really popular. Using online services, you can create a brief video. For example, using www.Animoto.com, in ten minutes I easily created this 30-second video to promote our Catalyst Training Conference. To promote your latest energy management project, you could simply: 1) take pictures of your project; 2) upload to Animoto.com; 3) write captions for the pictures; and Animote creates the video with music. Your audience may watch a video before they read text.
20. Bulletin Boards
And lastly, don't forget about good old fashioned bulletin boards. They're in your break room and hallways and sometimes contains information no one cares about. But post your energy savings story or infographic and create water cooler talk.
You can promote your energy savings for a powerful impact. Remember, start slow and start small, but start somehow!