A few years ago, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre analyzed responses from 50 renewable energy companies regarding their transparency and awareness of the local communities as far as renewable projects are concerned. The results of this survey showed that some companies appreciate the importance of the stakeholder-based method, but some are yet to do so. Among the delayers was the failure to determine how projects may affect the local community.
This reminds me of the importance of a proper communication plan with power stakeholders. It not only develops trust in the products and services offered but also assures stakeholders that company decisions are transparent. To cement your renewable energy portfolio management, improve your communication with the stakeholders in all the project stages.
Different Communication Channels
When you think about these options, you have to analyze the stakeholders. Consider the following groups when improving your communication strategy:
- The executives
- Department leaders
- Operations and facility managers
- Maintenance teams
- Accounting/finance department
- Utility players
- Common employees
- The public
Communication channels for these groups need not be a reinvention of the wheel.
Despite the advent of new communication channels, email remains relevant for stakeholder communication in power and other industries. The fact that email is a proof of communication, delivers immediately, and is easy to measure makes it relevant. Newsletters can also be mentioned in the same breath with emails, where stakeholders receive regular news items, budget briefs, project plans, and so forth.
Automating emails saves time and improves communication efficiency. Automating allows you to set regular updates that can be sent to the power stakeholders through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed. It gives room for personalization, such as making the message visually appealing or sending certain messages only to specific stakeholders.
Energy businesses can also use group video calls for updates or summaries of their projects. This method usually works when there is a hitch somewhere that needs immediate attention. A brief Zoom call with power stakeholders may be the only thing you need to approve an emergency project budget.
Presentations are equally effective communication channels, whether they are done online or physically. In this era of the global pandemic, you will hear more about online presentations than face-to-face ones. Video presentation software has become popular in recent times because they are so good at engaging stakeholders. Once the presentation is complete, you can send the saved slides to the stakeholders for their reference.
Compliance and Communication Tool
Poor communication is a challenge for energy companies, not only because it affects operational results but also raises violation questions. For instance, an energy company in Europe needs to observe the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Compliance with data and communication laws requires the application of supervision, cyber security, and storage measures.
Energy companies that ignore these rules when communicating with stakeholders expose themselves to serious consequences. With the advent of digital communication, challenges like failure to store records appropriately have emerged. The IT and human resources departments have to work together to avert problems – but they are usually unprepared for the tech requirements of such compliance and communication tools.
The ideal compliance and communication tool has various capabilities including:
- Data protection – Privacy components, data encryption, deletion, and such features ensure the security of files, stakeholder sessions, messages, and so on
- Data retention – accountability and transparency is a crucial component for communication with power stakeholders. The tool should be capable of archiving and storing data for a particular period.
- Workflow – Also essential for a compliant communication tool is a clear demarcation between social and official communication methods.
- Audit – the best compliance and communication tools can be reviewed easily
QBI as a Communications Tool
Communicating statuses and developments in your energy asset business to your stakeholders is paramount, but it is not always easy to undertake. You have to collect considerable data and segment it into simpler formats. The message you derive from this information has to be understandable and actionable. And for people working in a technical industry like renewable energy, tools for effective communication are not always taught in school or made available.
That’s where the communication capability of the QBI platform comes in. Using this platform as your communication tool makes it easy to interact with internal stakeholders, regulators, investors, and customers.
Perhaps you want to report to an executive member or convince them to take a certain action. Or you are convinced your organization needs an operational shift, so you need support from the leadership. The recurring question will be how such a change can impact the company.
With QBI as your communication tool, you can back your thought process with data points from different sources. Using data to quantify your assumptions can be a consensus builder when dealing with your internal stakeholders.
The same case applies to investors, especially where proof of strong performance is required. When an investor can view the whole picture of your business from the same platform, they can easily make decisions on whether to place their money there.
Our platform helps renewable energy businesses to identify, visualize and share their performance, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We have developed this platform with absolute consideration of compliance requirements.
Request our demo as you prepare to launch this platform for better communication with power stakeholders and consequently, data-driven progress for your business.