Please your plug: Positive nationwide solar campaign set for early 2013

An ambitious, nationwide social media campaign which highlights the benefits of solar power is due to rollout next year. ‘Please your plug’ aims to stimulate renewed interest in the solar industry following the stunting of the market by a succession of cuts to the feed-in tariff over the last 18 months.

The campaign, spearheaded by Our Solar Future and CleanTech PR consultancy CCgroup, aims to bring together the UK solar industry to deliver the most ambitious renewable energy campaign witnessed in the UK.

Please your plug will target residential owners, commercial owners and investors using high impact, entertaining and unique online video to drive consumers to a new website that will aim to become the central hub for all UK solar information.

The website will help alleviate the chronic confusion that has traditionally surrounded investing in solar by outlining how to invest in solar for businesses and consumers alike – be it a £5 investment in a community project, £5,000 residential system, or a £500,000 commercial array – the website hopes to explain the process in to simple to understand terms whilst highlighting the key benefits of going solar.     

Charlotte Webster, Head of CleanTech, CCgroup and former PR Manager at Solarcentury, said: “It’s been a hard year for solar, but now it’s time to turn things around. There’s a time to complain and there’s a time to get down to growing the market we have by drawing on the positives of this fantastic industry. Good communications will make the difference.”

The campaign strategy has already started to generate quite a buzz within the industry, with a number of companies already contributing to help fund the campaign. Contributors so far include: Sun Gift Solar. Solarcentury, Opus Green, D&J Roofing and Solar, Eco-Exmoor Devon, Sunflex Solar; and Southern Solar.  

Webster added: “We’re all quietly optimistic about this, but the success of the campaign is entirely dependent on support and funding from the industry. We aim to attract over 500,000 video views and more than 250,000 new visitors to the website by September 2013, driving 80,000 potential sales leads to supporter’s websites. We’re making real head way on the fundraising, but the more we raise, the more ambitious and effective the campaign will be. So, as companies look at their marketing budgets we’re urging the industry to contribute what you can over the next few weeks. Essentially, one joined up, loud voice is going to have a more substantial impact than many quiet ones.”

Companies who support the campaign will have links to their business integrated into specific sections of the website’s editorial, increasing brand visibility and credibility, as well as providing consumers with channels for finding out more information. Work on the viral video is already underway and is being handled by video marketing agency, Nice and Serious.

Howard Johns, Managing Director of Southern Solar and Chairman of Our Solar Future concluded: “The industry needs to get moving again, and we have bought together a group of companies who are keen to do something about it. We really need a fresh take on communications for the industry to wake people up to the opportunity that still exists. As with Ecotricity’s video which attracted over 1 million views in a matter of weeks, we are hoping our campaign will have similar reach. All that’s needed is for 300 organisations to each contribute £500 to make a real difference to the future of the solar industry.”

Those interested in making a donation to the Please your plug campaign can contact howard.johns@southernsolar.co.uk.