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Public Relations Mistakes Biomass Developers Make

Industry experts discuss solutions to keep projects moving forward
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Visit demonstration sites – check. Research process and technology-check. Conduct feasibility study-check. Locate the perfect site-check. Secure grants and financing-check. Ready to break ground on the biomass project-check-or not quite yet? If your project stalls at this point, what happened? Community acceptance planning may be the link that keeps a good project from hitting a wall.

Jay Catasein of Twisted Oak calls successful biomass project development a three-legged stool. One of those legs is community acceptance accomplished through savvy public relations. Many projects fail because this element of planning is relegated to the end of development. Focused on sound technical merit and dollars, many developers don’t take time to avoid major public relations (PR) mistakes such these top six:
- Not considering PR part of the project business plan
- Initiating local PR only after opposition is present
- Appearing too secretive in the name of protecting proprietary information
- Involving only the developer’s preferred political party in the process
- Not involving media on a proactive basis
- Relying only on consultants causing too little developer involvement in the local area

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