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Comparative Analysis on Nuclear Energy Institute's "Nuclear Matters"​ and "Why Nuclear"​ Campaigns

image credit: NEI's Why Nuclear Campaign (Image from Google)
Mark Gino Aliperio's picture
Student Graduate KEPCO International Nuclear Graduate School

Nuclear Power Plant Engineer. In my study at KEPCO International Nuclear Graduate School in which I specialized in Project Management in Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Construction, my team and I...

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  • Jun 15, 2020
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by Mark Gino Aliperio and Byeonghui Song

Communication planning is about creating a more favorable environment in which an organization’s idea, service or issue can take seed and flourish and where we can see measureable progress. The success of a communication plan depends on strong strategic planning based on research, with results you can measure. Communication planning ensures you’ve considered all stakeholders & all possibilities; allows you to be strategic; and provides a road map for success & allows you to track progress. This article presents an in-depth analysis of two different campaigns of the Nuclear Energy Institute - "Nuclear Matters" and "Why Nuclear".

 

"Nuclear Matters" Campaign (2014)

http://www.nei.org/News-Media/News/News-Archives/Industry-Launches-Nucle...

  • Objective: To inform key audiences about nuclear energy’s full value proposition; To raise awareness of the economic challenges to nuclear energy that threaten its benefits.
  • Sender: former governors and US senators, individuals, organizations, and businesses
  • Audience: stakeholders as well as policymakers in 11 states in the US
  • Strategy: To work with stakeholders to explore policy solutions that value nuclear energy as reliable, affordable, and carbon-free; To reach out stakeholders to hear directly from them about the importance of nuclear energy to their communities
  • Tactics: State-based events; advertising through The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Journal, as well as digital advertising.

 

"Why Nuclear" Campaign (2016)

http://www.nei.org/News-Media/Multimedia/Advertising

  • Objective: To help achieve policies that promote clean air and tie the benefits of nuclear energy to public well-being. Also, it is geared toward building an active base of supporters.
  • Sender: industry innovators, environmentalists
  • Audience: People working in the nuclear industry as for example, nuclear engineers have an extra obligation to be very open and upfront about how their technology works
  • Strategy: The campaign wants to elevate awareness of nuclear energy’s vital attributes.
  • Tactics: Campaign will center on print, radio, digital and video messaging. It will also be placed within inside-the-beltway news outlets and be reinforced with promotional activities.
  • Calendar: updated regularly and can be tracked on Twitter by the hashtag #WhyNuclear

 

SIMILARITIES

●Key message of the importance of nuclear energy in the energy mix as a source of reliable, cheap, and clean energy – to address and mitigate the problem of global warming.

●Both campaigns are aimed to gain support from the public and stakeholders

●Use of digital advertising as a tactic to deliver their respective strategies

DIFFERENCES

"Why Nuclear" has a more diverse tactic in which aside from prints, they also utilized other channels of communication such as radio and video messaging.

●To gain public acceptance, "Nuclear Matters" focuses on the benefits of nuclear power, while "Why Nuclear" is more focused on the importance of nuclear technology.

 

Planning a strategic communication is very crucial in nuclear energy as it helps the industry share a clearly defined message with everyone involved with the industry itself – internally and externally. It is an intentional process that looks at what the stakeholders as well as the people working in the nuclear industry needs to hear. The following are our insights from the comparative analysis that can be used in our own organization or country pertaining nuclear industry:

♦ Define the message: For a certain nuclear industry that aims to gain public acceptance on nuclear energy, and increase people’s awareness on its potential benefits, the industry needs to clearly define the message that they want to send to the stakeholders. Whatever the message is, it should be simple or be condensed into a shorter phrase or sentence.

♦ Analyze the target audience: Communication needs to be shaped to each audience in order to send the message effectively. From the two articles analyzed, they targeted the message to certain groups of audience and determined what information they need to know. So, it is important to consider the basic demographic information of the audience (regulators, government officials, operators, experts, media, general public, etc.) and how the message will affect them.

♦ Define the communication goal: As mentioned above, communication varies for each audience group. Messages sent in nuclear industry could employ different strategies like raising awareness while some are structured to bring about a change in thought or behavior (for anti-nuclear activists, opposing groups).

♦ Explore outlets: Similar to what the both campaigns did, there are many options available to communicate, depending on how you want the audience to connect with the message. These include advertising in social media, prints, radio, television, as well as organizing location-based and stakeholder-based campaigns, events, and activities; as people tend to remember information if they received it in various forms.

♦ Time Frame/Calendar: When sending the message initially, it is important to consider how to continue sharing the message over a course of time (days, weeks, months). This time frame is tentative and may need to be modified during the implementation of the strategic communication plan. As example, short time messages may include constant campaign and advertisement on the advantages of nuclear energy; and long term message can be indirectly sent through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, that shows that nuclear industry could be a partner for holistic community development.

♦ Feedback: As for any campaign, feedback is important throughout the entire strategic communication process. Like from the two campaigns, they kept track their activity through Twitter for feedback and direct insights from the stakeholders. This is to make sure that the message is getting across clearly and is not misunderstood. Feedback can be done in many ways such as pre- and post-surveys, as it is used as a validation to see if the message is effective.

This comparative analysis on NEI's campaigns has been conducted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the course EA201 Stakeholder Management and Public Acceptance.

 

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jun 15, 2020

These two campaigns are from four and six years ago, respectively-- I'd be curious about your perspective on whether the necessary message for the nuclear industry has evolved in that time, Mark Gino? Are there new concerns of the public to take into account, or new areas of excitement that would be key to tap into? 

Mark Gino Aliperio's picture
Mark Gino Aliperio on Jun 15, 2020

Hi Matt. This comparative analysis was conducted in 2017. However, the face of nuclear campaigns has significantly changed over the years, taking lessons from failed campaigns of the past. One excellent example would be Korea. They studied their audience and then strategically develop and launched different campaigns (with the same key message) targeted to specific audiences like policy makers, household, people working in the industry, even young children, etc. As a result, Korea's nuclear energy program received overwhelming support from the majority of their population. And I guess, countries should look into them and adapt their methods and strategies.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jun 15, 2020

That's interesting-- though I'm assuming geographies and cultures will play very much into the 'ideal' campaign, and what works in Korea may not necessarily work in other countries. 

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