Energy & Environment Case Studies
Experience that Makes a Difference
A cost-prohibitive tariff blocked Brazil from sharing sugarcane ethanol in the United States for more than 30 years. With the import tax on ethanol slated to expire again after being extended consistently since 1980, the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association enlisted Stratacomm to lead an aggressive advocacy program that would educate Americans about the many benefits of this unfamiliar renewable fuel and persuade lawmakers to end the unfair tariff. The two-year Sweeter Alternative campaign built significant grassroots support, generated widespread positive media coverage, and helped influence a bipartisan 73-27 vote in the U.S. Senate that sealed the tariff’s fate. The trade barrier expired on December 31, 2011.
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition that challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, energy efficient and attractive. DOE engaged Stratacomm to tell the story of the innovative student teams and help educate Americans about cost-effective ways homeowners can use clean energy for both Solar Decathlon 2009 and 2011. Building on success from the 2009 event, out team developed and executed a robust plan resulting in a strategic blend of media outreach, digital and social media tactics that produced widespread media coverage, +300% growth in the competition’s social media following, increased website traffic and over 350,000 house tours during the ten-day competition.
It was a time when diesel was under attack, leaving the future of the industry in doubt. California had listed diesel exhaust as a toxic air contaminant. The tone of media coverage was extremely negative. Policy leaders did not recognize diesel’s economic importance. That's when the Diesel Technology Forum tapped Stratacomm to help tell the other side of the story.
To demonstrate the air quality benefits of upgrading old stoves with new, more efficient wood and pellet stoves, Stratacomm helped the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association produce a live-burn demonstration outside EPA headquarters in Washington. The event became a high-profile platform to unveil a new website, video and report on a successful woodstove changeout program in Libby, Montana resulting in coverage on ABC’s Good Morning America and helping secure a tax credit for efficient stoves in the 2009 stimulus bill.
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