THE SOURCE - Spring 2016 - (Page 28)

marketing matters Look Closer: A Marketing Campaign for the Public Natural Gas Industry F or years, there have been discussions and requests for a national-level marketing campaign for public natural gas utilities. Members sought a unified communication effort that touts the benefits of natural gas, promotes its usage, communicates important information, and encourages customers to learn more about natural gas opportunities. As there are now even more opportunities for the directuse of natural gas and as such, more questions from consumers on natural gas, having such a campaign is vital. When APGA's Direct-Use Task Group was formed in late 2014, the Marketing & Sales Committee representatives in the group knew that developing a large, member-wide campaign would be a great asset to achieve the goals of the group. Essentially, the goals of the group are to communicate the benefits of the direct-use of natural gas to both federal policymakers and customers around the country. It was imperative that the message being delivered to both groups have the same core content, yet be worded and communicated in ways that would best reach the different audiences. In early 2015, APGA's Direct-Use Task Group was effectively creating advocacy messages for members of Congress and communicating those messages when it was decided that it was time to bring those messages to local communities. This was the ideal time to develop the long-awaited marketing campaign. APGA's Marketing & Sales Committee leadership, who also serve on the Direct-Use Task Group, got the blessing from the group, and then began to take the necessary steps to move forward with the campaign development. They created an RFP for vendors to bid on the project, collected and reviewed proposals from vendors, conducted interviews, and eventually selected Crabtree Ink as the vendor to help develop the campaign. The marketing team and Crabtree Ink then worked together closely to develop the message that would be communicated to consumers based on the messages that were being communicated to policymakers. Ideally, a member of Congress would hear information Members sought a unified communication effort that touts the benefits of natural gas, promotes its usage, communicates important information, and encourages customers to learn more about natural gas opportunities. 28 THE SOURCE | THE vOiCE and CHOiCE Of pUbliC gaS about the direct-use of natural gas in Washington, D.C., as it relates to policies, and then they would hear similar information from their local utilities to market the direct-use of natural gas when they returned home to their districts. Crabtree Ink and the marketing team developed these messages and then worked to create a brand, logo, and theme, which were all pitched, edited, and approved by the Direct-Use Task Group. As a result, the marketing campaign became the Look Closer campaign-an idea that encourages customers to look closer at natural gas and the ways it can benefit everyday life in their homes and businesses. Subsequently, materials including advertisements, a brochure, PSA, and social media messages were created. See one of the ads on page 7. These materials were presented to APGA members at the Gas Utility Management Conference in Asheville, N.C., this past November and during a webinar in December. APGA wants members to be fully aware of the campaign and the resources that the campaign will provide. This is an excellent opportunity for the association to achieve goals in both advocacy and marketing, but we need the full Positioning Statement It's time to look closer at the future of American energy. Tomorrow's fuel is here today... at home in abundance. America's natural gas is the cleaner, more reliable, more affordable and more efficient energy alternative, offering a local solution to a national challenge. It's time to look closer at a resource that provides greater stability and versatility while delivering lower costs and emissions. It's time to look closer to home.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Spring 2016

First Person
APGA Events
A Friendly Business Partnership of Two of the Nation’s Largest Utilities Can Benefit the Natural Gas Industry
Natural Gas Direct-Use in Net Zero Energy Buildings
Henry Hub and Changing Liquidity in the North American Gas Market
Cold Season Planning Preparedness: From Supply to Delivery
Natural Gas Power Plant Opportunities
Legislative Outlook
The Pipeline
Marketing Matters
Advertisers’ Index/
At Last

THE SOURCE - Spring 2016