In 2008, the HBPW needed to engage with the community in the process of determining the city’s future energy generation solution. A complicated decision, it was crucial to create a dialog with stakeholders where the HBPW could clearly communicate the practical and technical factors in the decision while listening to the social, environmental and financial concerns of the community.
Working in tight collaboration with the business development team at HBPW, we developed a new brand for the organization to handle all communications around the decision. The concept needed to be simple and easy to remember while also being broad enough for such an open-ended process (no one knew what kind of power solution would come from it). We settled on Power for the 21st Century, or P21 for short.
Over the past several years, we have supported the process through an ongoing integrated campaign that included a microsite and blog to operate as a home base for information, print mailers, advertising, video, press relations, and collateral for public meetings. We helped create understanding among stakeholders as HBPW conducted an exhaustive sustainable return on investment study that combined the input of the whole community on social, environmental, and financial concerns with generation industry forecasting and new technology research. Then, we helped explain the results to the community to create buy-in and support for the best option, a combined cycle natural gas plant.
“The P21 Decision campaign paved the way for clear communications as we engaged the community in deciding Holland’s Energy Future. The result is a beautiful, world-class energy station that reflects the values of the community.”
General Manager, Holland Board of Public Works
While the campaign continues today, the results are already evident. The HBPW has completed construction of the Holland Energy Park with overwhelming support from the community.
The P21 campaign worked in two directions:
- Helping HBPW to explain complex decisions to the public
- Opening a channel for the community to shape their energy future.