My last post was the suggestion of a grass-roots, solar guerrilla marketing campaign to get solar back on the White House.
Here’s a quick update: We’ve made some progress with several labor volunteers and so far, two firm commitments from two solar companies (Free Hot Water and Kaco Newenergy) donating their products to the White House. We’ve also created a Face Book page with over 180 fans and counting, and we’re in discussions with other solar companies to make the solar PV and thermal package complete.
In this post, I want to explain why the solar industry needs more so-called “guerrilla marketing” and some basic guidelines that I personally employ.
If you feel that guerrilla marketing is just a “stunt” or beneath you, or that it will hurt your brand and reputation more than it will help, nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, I would argue that more than any other time, solar needs MORE courageous, creative, positive, guerrilla-style marketing. Keeping your company's head down only allows more attention for the coal and oil industries, which are getting attention the old fashioned way: Lots of PR money, slick, fear mongering advertising, and highly paid lobbyists.
So, here now is a brief crash course in inexpensive solar guerrilla marketing. I’ll discuss my basic guidelines, and show why this White House initiative falls under these guidelines. ::continue::
Solar guerrilla marketing is inexpensive.
The White House initiative has/will cost participants some donated product—that is, if the White House accepts our collective donation. If they don’t, there is no cost, but it will no doubt get media attention for Solar PV and Solar Thermal.
Solar guerrilla marketing is surprising. It has a twist.
I’m not the first person to suggest solar be put back on the White House. Aside from various blogs, there are four Face Book pages devoted to the same cause. Yet, the White House has thus far kept silent on its intentions. So, the guerrilla marketing twist here is that I’m organizing people and companies to donate labor and solar to the White House. Then, the White House can either use it—or explain why it can’t be done.
Solar guerrilla marketing inspires people to act or talk to their friends and neighbors.
My intention here is to inspire people to consider solar for their home or business. There are still so many misconceptions about solar and solar financing. Having solar on the White House would lead to a White House website with information about solar PPAs, the technology, solar energy savings, net metering, PACE, rebates, and so many other solar concepts that have yet to get into the main stream.
Solar guerrilla marketing shows and tells something.
It's not enough to say something and start an email campaign or set up a Face Book page. People respond to examples and inspired, positive actions. Sometimes, that can just be a viral video or a march. In this White House campaign, participants are acting and showing their support for solar by contributing their products and/or labor to the White House. They're not waiting for support, but just moving forward.
Solar guerrilla marketing has the seed to get attention from the media.
If you’ve got a big idea to promote solar, obviously, it’s got to be creative or big enough to grab the attention of at least your local media, if not the national media. We’re not there yet with this project, but when all of the components are together and the solar offer made with a press release, I fully expect there will be a great deal of public interest and media exposure.
Solar guerrilla marketing is non-violent and legal.
This campaign is essentially a gift and a big public nudge. We’re not throwing tea bags or solar panels at the White House. We’re not yelling or interrupting any events or speeches. We’re not going to sneak onto the White House grounds and install solar in the middle of the night. We’re just going to say in a press release essentially, “Here, Mr. President. We think solar is good for the White House and the nation. Judging by your past support for solar, we think you do too, and hope you’ll use these solar gifts to inspire other Americans to learn about solar and the ways to finance it.”
The entire solar industry can't (yet) compete with the oil and coal lobby's PR money, but we still have our own creativity and a voice. Solar needs big, creative, ideas like this White House initiative. Got your own solar guerrilla ideas that would be more effective with other solar companies contributing or doing the same action? Lay them down here and see if you can’t get some support.
Thanks, and as always, Unthink Solar.
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