Online engagement for sustainable energy projects: A Systematic review and framework for integration
Danielle Barrios-O'Neill (University of Ulster/B9 Energy) & Geertje Schuitema (University Colllege Dublin)
This paper addresses the question, how can sustainable energy projects increase engagement from consumers using interactive media communications?
To answer this complex question, the authors conducted a systematic literature review to synthesise findings across four major disciplines: planning, energy and infrastructure, marketing, public engagement and consultation policy, and interactive media engagement. This review had the goal of identifying current and imminent challenges, as well as potential solutions, to engaging consumers with sustainable energy projects in the era of interactive media.
The authors propose a Socially Dynamic Communications Framework (SDCF) that can be used organizationally to address core challenges and generate solutions within a single iterative cycle.
Initial findings indicate that consumer behaviours are most likely to be influenced through strategic social interactions using diverse, networked platforms, in order to be meaningful in contemporary social and technological contexts--for example through the use of social media, gaming, and interactive simulations. Furthermore, this type of interaction is likely to become integral to future energy delivery systems, making interactive, online engagement with energy initiatives an important area for investigation.
While many organisations may cite a lack of control in digital and social media as a risk justifying avoidance, the majority of engagement and marketing literature emphasise the greater risk inherent in not engaging effectively online.