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PR's Place in the Clean Energy Sector

This past summer, I had the opportunity to work at JMU’s Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Energy (CASE) as a Communications Intern. While my main focus was doing public relations and communications work for the center, I also learned a lot about clean and sustainable energy. This position opened my eyes to how public relations work is needed in every possible industry, no matter what the focus is. Thanks to my internship at CASE, I discovered that I could combine my interest in clean and sustainable energy with my passion for public relations, creating a best of both worlds situation.

Strategic Communication

A lot of people, including myself, do not think that working in the clean energy sector could involve public relations work, but it is crucial. Strategic communication from companies in this sector elevates their work. Press releases written by public relations professionals who work in the clean energy sector are what help gain traction for researchers and publishers in the field. Public relations professionals assist in picking the right message, the medium to deliver the message, the audience to deliver the message to, and goals to achieve as a result of the work. Strategic communication as a public relations professional in the clean energy sector may look a bit different than it traditionally does, but it follows all the typical rules and applies them in many situations.

Science only goes so far

There is no arguing that the scientific research and development that occurs in the clean energy sector is the most important part, however without public relations involvement, the path would end after the publishing of research or implementing of findings. Public relations professionals elevate all the important aspects of the industry by figuring out the target audiences to share information with, getting the word out through social media or press releases, and creating buzz about what is happening. Public relations work in the industry not only increases the voice of their client, but it can also draw in more industry partners, donations, and overall money from people who become aware of clean energy work.

Don’t forget that public relations is a wide field with lots of opportunities. Every industry needs public relations professionals to keep it functioning successfully. I recommend that everyone look into other fields that interest them and see if you can combine an interest or passion with your future public relations career!

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