The Wind Coalition of Oklahoma is an industry trade association created to promote the development of wind and solar energy resources as clean, reliable, affordable and infinite sources of power. The Coalition is the advanced power industry’s voice within 14 states.
Oklahoma legislators abandoned a 2015 agreement to retain a valuable tax credit for the renewable energy sector. Individuals with a vested interest in the oil and gas sector advocated for a significant tax on wind production to encourage utilities to use more natural gas and invested in an anti-wind campaign.
Oklahoma’s ability to retain and grow the wind industry was at stake. Further taxing a burgeoning industry would not result in business expansion or additional job growth. With the loss of capital investment, Oklahoma would lose jobs, education funding and economic independence.
With these circumstances looming, The Coalition knew it needed to control the narrative. SixPR was hired to develop and execute a proactive, multi-channel educational and political campaign reinforcing the positive economic impact of the wind industry in Oklahoma.
SixPR followed a public relations strategic planning process that included internal and external research. The issue and intent of the research was to determine Oklahoma’s current political climate regarding growth and expansion of the wind industry as it related to tax subsidies; and to glean public perception of the wind industry in Oklahoma. The campaign used the following research methods:
Results: Data revealed messages, positive and negative, across a geographically and politically diverse landscape.
OTHER | Personal Interviews – SixPR conducted interviews with both the industry influencers—to ensure their interests and vision of the wind industry’s future was included in the plan and event, and legislators—to gauge the current political climate regarding growth and expansion of the wind industry.
Results: The influencers confirmed the team’s notion that they were highly engaged in supporting the future of the wind industry and would do whatever necessary to help move the political needle. Interviews with Oklahoma legislators revealed there was a mix of anti-wind and pro-wind legislators. The goal was to use the pro-wind legislators to champion the industry and oppose the anti-wind legislation.
OTHER | sixPR utilized research conducted by the American Wind Energy Association to glean who was behind the anti-wind legislation and better understand of the “why” of the anti-wind stance.
Results: The team discovered there were several mistruths about the wind industry being publicized.
Goal: Develop and execute a proactive, multi-channel educational and political campaign reinforcing the positive economic impact of the wind industry in Oklahoma.
Target audience: Determining the audience was a three-pronged approach to accomplish the communication objectives. It required a unified message with an interest in growing support among
Strategy / Tactics: Strategies employed to ensure the campaign met its objectives included brand, website, social media, creative assets, legislator communication, earned media and community engagement. Individual tactics supporting each strategy can be viewed in the OK Wind Power Communications Plan.
Budget: The proposed budget for the campaign was $1,145,000 (see Wind Coalition Budget).
The team developed a timeline with schedules for pre-campaign preparation, campaign launch, legislative session and post legislative (see OK Wind Power Communications Plan).
The tactical aspect of the communication plan was key in achieving objectives:
SixPR successfully developed and executed a proactive, multi-channel educational campaign reinforcing the positive economic impact of the wind industry in Oklahoma.
A comprehensive overview and results of each aspect of the campaign can be viewed in the Campaign Overview and Results file.