Quite often clients tell me they find social media of great interest and relevant; however, they still do not quite know how to manage the vast amount of information published on the internet, including the direction in which information is flowing. The lack of control over what is going to be published and by whom has made more than one client nervous, especially since blogs and social media sites have mushroomed swiftly.
PR and Corporate Comms professionals operating in the renewable energy sector are no exception. Plenty of blog posts are being posted every day on renewable energies, not least by NGOs and lobby groups. How many of them are relevant and how to establish what is relevant? While media monitoring is relevant to scan through the media coverage on a daily basis and to perform regular fire fighting, part of a measurement programme’s aim is to develop a tactical communication strategy and to assess the way certain news stories unfold over time. The Dow Jones Insight Discovery chart tracks what conversations are rising and falling over time, including those mentioned in the social media space. As an example, I recently took a look at coverage of EDF.
In early March, EDF halted the concreting of its reactor at nuclear power plant Flamanville 3 after security controls revealed flaws in its consoles. Hundreds of people recommended the news on Facebook and hundreds added a comment on several blog posts. As expected, several posts questioned the safety of nuclear power plants, giving the Fukushima disaster as an example.
In February, EDF CEO Henri Proglio responded to a shortfall of electricity, saying that the company would not cut the supply of electricity to disadvantaged households. As thousands of households had been left without electricity, several angry bloggers and subsequent comments complained that EDF had not kept its promise. Yet this topic of discussion, as the chart shows, has fallen since it started.
Click to enlarge:
(Date Range: 22 December 2011 – 22 March 2012)