“How to Turn Offshore Wind Nay-Sayers into Yea-Sayers, turn the headwinds into fair winds and following seas and gain support from fishing communities.”
It’s True … Offshore Wind in the North East is facing serious headwinds when it comes to public opinion because a small group of anti-windfarm “Nay-Sayers” who currently control the microphone.
The Problem Is … Offshore Wind developers have been so busy working on permits and funding that they have done a TERRIBLE JOB of responding to the negative press that these “Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) Naysayers are socially protesting.
The Result … has been a small minority controlling the majority.
Since they’ve grabbed control of the microphone, they are, (and have been) feeding the public a negative narrative, laced with hysterical news and outright lies. It is creating unnecessary pushback from the struggling fishing communities that Offshore Wind Farms can actually help the most!
To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, I grew up in a small fishing town of about 100 commercial fishermen, and another 300 professionals with for-hire charter and party boats. There are only about 6 or 8 people in the entire fishing community opposed to Offshore Wind and making noise while the rest of the community remains curiously silent… and those voices seem loud in their silence!
Why are people silent, you may ask?
That’s simple! The silent majority believe they are actually in the minority. They fear verbal attacks in public and online, so they just go on about their business keeping their thoughts and opinions to themselves. Almost like how conservatives deal with ANTIFA liberals. Just smile, remain quiet, avoid confrontation and go on about your business. If this absurdity isn’t corrected soon the headwinds Offshore Wind is facing now will turn into Gale or Storm Force winds…effectively negating any positive response the silent majority may speak on.
How would one go about changing the direction and turn the headwinds into the fair wind and calm seas?
In my opinion, it can be done quite easily. If Offshore Wind Developers decide to get together and hire a local company with knowledge of, and people within, the fishing industry to promote the benefits of the industry instead of just themselves. It would be a much better use of capital, more efficient use of personnel, provide political and social support for the entire industry.
Right now, the minority has had control of the microphone and if this doesn’t change, the situation will only get worse.
5 Specific Strategies and Action Items Offshore Wind needs to begin doing ASAP so they can course-correct and go from “Villain of the Village” to “Hero of the Community.”
5 Steps Offshore Wind Needs To Do To Control the Narrative and Turn Nay-Sayers into Yea-Sayers.
- Blogs & Social Media:
Well-written blogs with pictures get read, are passed around, and with proper SEO, they rank high on Google and stick around for a long time. This goes without saying, Blogs & Social Media are VERY important and can change public opinion at the drop of a “like.”
- Public Appearances and Speaking:
Public Appearances and Speaking is a very effective tool for getting the word out and creating a narrative – politics aside, just look at what public speaking and being in front of the public has done for the past two Presidents. Love them or hate them it makes no difference – they got out in front, controlled the narrative, made appearances at local community events and won the highest office in the land.
- Trade Show Attendance:
Trade Shows attract tens of thousands of people per year who have a direct interest in the same area as Offshore Wind. I can’t think of a more effective way to get in front of a user group and communicate the advantages of Offshore Wind to garner support.
- YouTube Videos:
Video is vitally important to positive public opinion- and AUTHENTIC COMMUNICATION is the key. Videos need to be done in a “Reality TV” type presentation with real people – mostly unscripted. YouTube is the second highest search engine in the world right behind Google! More people watch a daily news video rather than reading lengthy articles about topics they may (or may not) know any information about!
Let’s face it – NOTHING sells an objective better than Testimonials and interviews from real people. They are supremely important to that specific sector. If you watch TV, you’ve undoubtedly seen an Infomercial or two (maybe even hundreds of them!)…did you know there is a direct correlation between testimonials and more sales? The percentage is 70% testimonials and 30% information – and that’s a fact!
NOTE ABOUT THE MARKETING
The above marketing and promotion methods CANNOT be the same as they been in the past because they are boring and do nothing for anyone except provide “fear” ammunition for the Nay-Sayers.
The only way to properly get the message out is with the AIDA – WIIFM method. (Attention Interest Desire Action – Whats In It For Me?)
Below are TWO examples for you to consider and decide for yourself which one is boring and which one peaks your curiosity to learn more?
XYZ Wind company received BOEM approval for Phase Two Geotechnical Surveys. (How announcements are currently released)
Breaking News! Fishermen in ABC community are one step closer to getting ___ more fishing spots and ___ more jobs!
XYZ Wind company recently received permission from the Govt. to begin Phase Two on the wind farm project! Soon fishermen will have more opportunities and spots to fish like so many fishermen do in _____ county. (Link to pictures of people or vide of people catching fish at platforms)
Which message above has a better chance of exciting the public and gaining support and which one provides the opposition with ammunition to create a fearful message? Just imagine for a second how hard it would be for the Nay-Sayers to spin message #2 into a negative.
It’s Time To Steer
This Offshore Wind Ship Into
Fair Wind and Following Seas.
# # #
How I can Help
Now that we’ve run through a few of my suggestions on strategies for Off Shore Wind Developers to adopt, it’s only fair for you to receive full disclosure. I come from a fishing family in Montauk, NY and I was an Offshore Wind Hater myself until I saw the benefit the Block Island Windfarm has done for the local community. I was so intrigued by Offshore Wind that I started a company to provide services for Offshore Wind Developers and help local fishermen get involved in this exciting new industry.
Since I come from the fishing business I have first-hand knowledge of the misrepresentation, apprehension, and complaints within the fishing industry. More importantly, I know what needs to be done in both the short and long term to address the issues, change the narrative and turn the haters into supporters.
I recently posted a video called “The Truth About Offshore Wind” https://offshorewindfarmsupport.com/offshore-wind-video/
This video identifies FIVE of the Biggest Fears and misrepresentations being spread around the docks and communities about Offshore Wind.
It provides valuable information to Developers on what needs to be done and how to do it. The feedback I received from the video is shocking to say the least! So far, 82% of the video watchers are interested in Offshore Wind and 12% are opposed. As I said – the minority has the microphone.
“At Offshore Wind Farm Support, we’ll continue to monitor for opportunities to assist Off Shore Wind Farming with public relations, community out reach and education, digital marketing, and more…if you’d like to know more contact us at 601-SEA-WIND