The government of Barbados, with the help of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), was developing the “Public Sector Smart Energy (PSSE)” program, focused on efficient energy management in the public sector.”
Within the framework of this program (PSSE), a communication and engagement strategy was necessary to raise public awareness about energy sustainability in Barbados. A strategy that is being developed by Izertis in consortium with the companies Próxima Communications and Public Relations (Costa Rica) and Virgo Communications (Barbados).
The main objective of this communication strategy is to inform about the benefits surrounding the use of renewable energies and energy efficiency, with the aim of reducing energy consumption between the domestic and commercial sectors.
Analysing the degree of knowledge of the citizen about energy efficiency
Raising awareness about energy consumption in the domestic and commercial sphere
Measuring and evaluating the impact of the strategy throughout the project
The project was developed in five phases:
Phase 1: Analysis of public knowledge about energy efficiency, renewable energies and campaigns previously carried out by the Ministry.
An analysis of the situation was carried out through quantitative and qualitative instruments: two focus groups with representatives of the citizens, personal interviews with the different stakeholders and surveys. Analysis of existing prior documentation, such as the Barbados National Energy Policy (BNEP), was also conducted.
Phase 2: Design and development of materials for the comprehensive communication and engagement campaign.
Based on the results of the analysis, a comprehensive communication strategy was developed. A series of key messages were developed with the intention of communicating the goals and objectives of the Barbados National Energy Policy (BNEP), the benefits that the energy transition will have for all Barbadians and the specific actions that citizens can take to promote energy efficiency and renewable energies.
Phase 3: Implementation of the global communication strategy.
At the beginning of this phase, a brand proposal was presented to the Ministry to modernize the logos and an ad hoc graphic identity was created, which is maintained throughout the project in the on and offline environment. In this way, the created materials were unified, helping to the identification and general awareness of the brand.
The approved tactics were then developed, some of which were:
• An online catalogue of educational opportunities aimed primarily at students.
• An online tournament between schools.
• Two talk shows focused on smart energy in the context of Barbados, featuring Kerrie Symmonds, Minister for Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
To promote each of these tactics, various materials were created that included graphic designs for social networks, a landing page, press releases, videos, infographics, white papers, banners, radio and digital announcements, animations, events and custom designs for electric vehicles and buses.
At the same time, transversal actions are carried out throughout the entire project: the reorganization of the website and the comprehensive management of the Project's social networks.
Phases 4 and 5: Closing and evaluation of the strategy.
At the end of the first stage of the project (it is currently continuing with a second phase), a comprehensive final report was prepared that includes all the project's metrics. Likewise, a social media and public relations guide was developed for the Ministry: a document prepared for the transfer of social media accounts, with guidelines to follow its correct development and a list of actions, materials and budget necessary to implement the tactics of the second phase.
Finally, a new survey was carried out to measure the impact of the implemented strategy and to find out how the initial perception of Barbadians had changed after the campaign: the results obtained were highly positive.
With all this, the Ministry of Energy has been positioned as a fundamental actor in the energy sector in Barbados, and as the platform to attend for information related to energy.
In parallel, recommendations have been made to the Ministry for the maintenance of this long-term strategy and thus provide it with a minimum autonomy to give continuity to the actions carried out.