Energy projects involve a number of stakeholders, including government, the private sector, civil society, and communities with diverse interests.
An identified barrier to widespread adoption of an energy project is the lack of public, political and industry understanding of the project’s benefits, opportunities and capabilities.
It is about how the information is communicated and if a justification of the project is done in an effective way.
Before relaying information on the project, a communication strategy must be developed.
A good strategy describes the key elements, starting with a rationale, target audience, communication channels and feedback methods. Planning for implementation and execution should be part of the strategy.
Justifying a project is an attempt to explain why the particular energy project should be implemented as a solution to a problem and how it can be implemented.
As justification, the communicator should identify the problem, the need for the implementation of the proposed project should be emphasized to ensure that the beneficiaries appreciate the investment.
The advantages or advantages should be described. In the case of renewable energy, these can include reducing electricity costs and reducing pollution.
A link can be established between the proposed project and the support for it in the world. This helps to increase its credibility. For example, there has been a push for sustainable energy and a need to reduce global warming, especially from fossil fuels.
The target audience should be able to appreciate the importance of the project in promoting such a program.
Goals and objectives should be well defined to ensure that they focus on specific ideas and end goals, to further justify the project and promote its acceptance.
The facts of the project should be well understood by the communications team who lay the groundwork for initiating discussions.
The facts should cover, among other things, the method of implementation, duration, risks and compliance mechanisms.
It is imperative to have a full appreciation of the regulatory framework to which the project is subject.
This includes laws and regulations such as those imposed by the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema). Understanding both the facts of the project and the regulatory framework helps authenticate the project, leading to trust.
To determine the target audience, pre-campaign research can be used to align audience attitude. It also determines how the justification for the project will be done, depending on the recipients, as it is important to tailor the information to a particular recipient.
Regarding methods of feedback on the evaluation of communication effectiveness, an audit can be used to assess the effectiveness and reliability of communication methods.
The target audience can be asked if they are receiving the right information.
Ms. Bonita is a communications consultant, Commken Afrique Ltd.