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  • 1. Texas Tech University COMMUNICATION PLAN Modern technology owes ecology an apology. ~Alan M. Eddison We agree with Mr.Eddison, and GM and DOE have given us a special opportunity to do just that. In the Eco-Car: The Next Challenge, we would use some new technology to overcome the environmental challenges of air pollution and global warming posed by an old technology. It is our privilege to contribute our bit to this noble cause of saving Mother Earth and to owe our apology to the ecology we have damaged. We, Team TTU, thank General Motors and Department of Energy for trusting our abilities and desire to serve our environment. One part of the Eco-Car Challenge, the Communication Plan, is specifically important because “The problem with communication ... is the illusion that it has occurred.” – George Bernard Shaw Through this communication plan we aim to present a complete roadmap of Why, What, to Whom and How would we communicate about the Challenge and the TTU Team. We would also propose various tools for measuring the communication effectiveness and efficiency. We would make sure that it has occurred! 1|Page
  • 2. Texas Tech University SITUATION ANALYSIS To design any plan, the first step is analyzing the current situation and answering the question WHY. In our case, we came across various startling facts and figures about air pollution, global warming, EPA standards, hybrid eco-friendly vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell activity in the world. Today, EPA estimates that mobile sources of air toxins account for as much as half of all cancers attributed to outdoor sources of air toxins. The air we breathe in many U.S. cities is being polluted by activities such as driving cars and trucks; burning coal, oil, and other fossil fuels; and manufacturing chemicals. Air pollution can even come from smaller, everyday activities such as dry cleaning, filling your car with gas, and degreasing and painting operations. More people in cities and surrounding counties means more cars, trucks, industrial and commercial operations, and generally means more pollution. The average adult breathes over 3,000 gallons of air every day. Children breathe even more air per pound of body weight and are more susceptible to air pollution. Millions of people live in areas where urban smog, very small particles, and toxic pollutants pose serious health concerns. People exposed to high enough levels of certain air pollutants may experience burning in their eyes, an irritated throat, or breathing difficulties. Long- term exposure to air pollution can cause cancer and long-term damage to the immune, neurological, reproductive, and respiratory systems. In extreme cases, it can even cause death. Thus, in 1970, Congress created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and passed the Clean Air Act, giving the federal government authority to clean up air pollution in this country. Since then, EPA and states, tribes, local governments, industry, and environmental groups have worked to establish a variety of programs to reduce air pollution levels across America. This is imperative as air pollution not only affects our health but also our environment and economy. 2|Page
  • 3. Texas Tech University Thereby, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others are working to make information about outdoor air quality as easy to understand as the weather forecast. A key tool in this effort is the Air Quality Index, or AQI. The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. It runs from 0 to 500. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. For example, an AQI value of 50 represents good air quality with little potential to affect public health, while an AQI value over 300 represents hazardous air quality. An AQI value of 100 generally corresponds to the national air quality standard for the pollutant, which is the level EPA has set to protect public health. In many U.S. communities, AQI values are usually below 100, with values greater than 100 occurring just several times a year. Typically, larger cities have more severe air pollution problems, and the AQI in these areas may exceed 100 more often than in smaller cities. AQI values higher than 200 are infrequent, and AQI values above 300 are extremely rare. The Clean Air Act also required EPA to issue a series of rules to reduce pollution from vehicle exhaust, refueling emissions and evaporating gasoline. This was important because today, motor vehicles are responsible for nearly one half of smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs), more than half of the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, and about half of the toxic air pollutant emissions in the United States. Motor vehicles, including non-road vehicles, now account for 75 percent of carbon monoxide emissions nationwide. The total vehicle miles people travel in the United States increased 178 percent between 1970 and 2005 and continues to increase at a rate of two to three percent each year. In the United States, there are more than 210 million cars and light-duty trucks on the road. In addition, the types of cars people drive have changed greatly since 1970. Beginning in the late 1980s, Americans began driving more vans, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), and pickup trucks as personal vehicles. By the year 2000, these "light-duty trucks" 3|Page
  • 4. Texas Tech University accounted for about half of the new passenger car sales. These bigger vehicles typically consume more gasoline per mile and many of them pollute three to five times more than cars. (www.epa.gov) The EPA has also designed a Green Vehicle Guide which gives information about the environmental performance of vehicles and provides the user with Side-by-side comparisons for upto 3 vehicles. We can use this guide to choose the cleanest and most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets our needs. Low emissions and good fuel economy are both important for the environment. (http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles) Along with the Government, Auto manufacturers are also doing their bit to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy. Companies like GM, Honda, Mitsubishi, BMW, Ford, Chrysler, SSC, Hyundai and many more are working on their Eco-Car prototypes (over 400 worldwide) which would bring a green revolution in the automobile segment. Some examples of these eco-friendly vehicles are (www.coolecars.com) : Th!nk, a Norwegian electric car maker is coming to the US and will be based out of Menlo Park, CA. No more than a stones throw from Tesla Motors over in San Carlos, CA. The Th!nk City, due out in 2009, will have a top speed of 65mph and will have a range of 110 miles on a single charge, and designed to meet all U.S. federal motor vehicle safety requirements. It will be equipped with ABS and dual front airbags. The price is estimated to be below $25,000. 4|Page
  • 5. Texas Tech University Japanese company Genepax presents its eco- friendly car that runs on nothing but water. The car has an energy generator that extracts hydrogen from water that is poured into the car’s tank. The generator then releases electrons that produce electric power to run the car. Genepax, the company that invented the technology, aims to collaborate with Japanese manufacturers to mass produce it. It’s gorgeous, yet beastly. It’s classic, yet innovative. It burns rubber, yet is environmentally friendly. It can destroy most sports cars off the line and you won’t hear any loud trembling exhaust pipes spewing out noxious fumes. It is what every gas guzzling classic car enthusiast turned eco friendly gas sipper could ever want in a car. It is the 2 SSIC. A123 Lithium Ion Batteries, and priced at $65,000 according to the window sticker. Top Speed - 150mph 0-60 - 2.1 seconds! Range - 75 miles 5|Page
  • 6. Texas Tech University TOYOTA PRIUS WAGON MITSUBISHI iMiEV The latest green technologies being used to power clean eco-friendly vehicles are the hydrogen fuel cell, ethanol, biodiesel and the battery. Each has its own pros and cons. For instances, a battery has all of its chemicals stored inside, and it converts those chemicals into electricity too. This means that a battery eventually "goes dead" and you either throw it away or recharge it. With a fuel cell, chemicals constantly flow into the cell so it never goes dead. Fuel cells generate electrical power quietly and efficiently, without pollution. Unlike power sources that use fossil fuels, the by-products from an operating fuel cell are heat and water. Again, Ethanol is produced using crops, feedstock and garbage. These are clean and green sources of energy. But along with their merits, they also pose some challenges. The first challenge is the high cost. In order to be competitively priced (compared to gasoline-powered vehicles), green systems must cost $35 per kilowatt [Source: Testimony of David Garman]. The second issue is durability. These sources should be able to operate at temperatures greater than 100 degrees Celsius and still function at sub- zero ambient temperatures. Infrastructure, storage and safety are other concerns. In order for the eco-car to become a viable alternative for consumers, there must be a production and delivery infrastructure. This infrastructure might include pipelines, truck transport, fueling stations and 6|Page
  • 7. Texas Tech University production plants. Three hundred miles is a conventional driving range (the distance you can drive in a car with a full tank of gas). In order to create a comparable result with a green vehicle, researchers must overcome storage considerations, vehicle weight and volume, cost, and safety. Engineers will have to design safe, reliable delivery systems. Since, oil dependency and global warming are international problems, several countries are partnering to advance research and development efforts in World Fuel Cell Activity PWC Survey 2006 6% 2%2% 3% USA Japan Germany USA, 40% Canada Canada, UK 30% Finland Switzerland Others 9% 8% green technologies. For instance, Some other facts that we could note of are (Source:DOT, H2Mobility.org, RFA Outlook 2008):  Hydrogen Production Capacity in USA in 2008 is 3109 mn cubic feet per day which can fuel about 20 mn vehicles.  Number of registered passenger vehicles in USA in 2006 is over 250 mn and the population of USA being about 300 mn. 7|Page
  • 8. Texas Tech University  Around 299 hydrogen filling stations worldwide as compared to about 117000 petroleum and 1400 E85 stations in USA alone.  The production and use of 6.5 billion gallons of ethanol in the U.S. reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 10.1 million tons in 2007, the equivalent of removing more than1.5 million cars from US roadways.  The production and use of 6.5 billion gallons of ethanol in 2007 displaced the need for 228 million barrels of oil. The displacement of 228 million barrels of oil in 2007 saved USA $16.5 billion. That is an average of $45 million a day.  The enactment of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (H.R. 6) in December increased the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) to 36 billion gallons of annual renewable fuel use by 2022. The Economic Impacts of 36 Billion Gallon RFS (2007 dollars)  Add more than $1.7 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product between 2008 and 2022;  Generate an additional $436 billion of household income for all Americans between 2008 and 2022;  Support the creation of as many as 1.1 million new jobs in all sectors of the economy by 2022;  Generate $209 billion in new Federal tax receipts; and, improve America’s energy security by displacing 11.3 billion barrels of crude oil between 2008 and 2022  Reduce the outflow of dollars to foreign oil producers by $817 billion between 2008 and 2022. Source: Economic Impact of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, John M. Urbanchuk, Director, LECG LLC, January 2008. 8|Page
  • 9. Texas Tech University Ethanol Employment Opportunities:  The increase in economic activity resulting from ongoing production and construction of new capacity supported the creation of 238,541 jobs in all sectors of the economy during 2007. From the scientists who develop the technologies that are improving ethanol production efficiency to the engineers who build the bio refineries to the accountants, plant managers, and others who keep the facilities running, a growing ethanol industry is opening up new fields of employment for seasoned professionals and recent college graduates alike. At a time of alarming outsourcing of American jobs, the U.S. ethanol industry is a shining example of the new energy economy that is developing.  These include more than 46,000 jobs in America’s manufacturing sector – American jobs making ethanol from grain produced by American farmers. Source: “Contribution of the Ethanol Industry to the Economy of the United States,” LECG, LLC, February 2008.  Moreover, the production of ethanol put an additional $12.3 billion into the pockets of American consumers in 2007. Source: “Contribution of the Ethanol Industry to the Economy of the United States,” LECG, LLC, February 2008. 9|Page
  • 10. Texas Tech University Finally, we conducted a SWOT Analysis which applies to many renewable sources of energy – STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES * Environment friendly * Production * Renewable sources of energy * Storage and distribution * Helps reduce air pollution and * Economic viability global warming * Safety * Energy efficiency * Increase self-reliance – 12.5 mn barrels oil per day imported OPPORTUNITIES THREATS * Employment Opportunities – 230000 + * Growing demand for cars – jobs in 2007 environment concerns * Soaring gas prices – over $4 * Lack of infrastructure * Government Support * Competition – Consumer mistrust * Technology advancement * Consumer acceptance (8 on10) 10 | P a g e
  • 11. Texas Tech University COMMUNICATION GOALS: The second step is deciding the communication goals and answering the question WHAT…. Our communication goals are as follows: Create Awareness - Informing and Educating We aim at making our target audience aware about the current environment deterioration and about green technologies which will save our mother Earth. We aim at informing and educating them about Eco-Car, about Eco-Car: The Next Challenge, its sponsors and about Texas Tech University and its team. The questions to be answered are “What is an Eco-Car?” , “Why do we need an Eco-Car?” and “Who is working towards fuelling this green future?” Generate anticipation and excitement We also aim at generating anticipation and excitement about the Eco-Car and the Challenge. We want to prepare our target audience for a green future by convincing them that Eco-Car is the solution to many of our environmental problems and they should prefer an Eco-Car over Petroleum fueled cars. Building image and local media interest Finally our goal is to build a brand image and local media interest in Eco-Car: The Next Challenge, for the sponsors and for Texas Tech University and the TTU Eco-Car Team. A goal should be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely). Our SMART goal would be explained in the budget and evaluation section of this report. 11 | P a g e
  • 12. Texas Tech University TARGET AUDIENCE: The next step is defining the target audience and answering the question TO WHOM. Our Target Group includes: Students, Teachers, Officials and Publications  Elementary Schools  High Schools  Universities and 2 year institutes Industry and Governing bodies  Automobile and related Companies  Energy and Environmental Companies  Government Departments  Non-Profit Eco-friendly organizations  Business and Congress Leaders  Sponsors  Media Community But it is not enough to only define the target groups. We also need to analyze their individual interests in our communication campaigns. Thus, we came up with the following list: 12 | P a g e
  • 13. Texas Tech University Students, Teachers, Officials and Publications  Awareness  Information  Education  Recruitment Industry and Governing bodies  Solution to pollution problems  New business and employment opportunity  Provide support / sponsorship to the project  Influence policies  News story Community  Awareness  Excitement  Anticipation  Better alternative and a fuel-efficient vehicle 13 | P a g e
  • 14. Texas Tech University STRATEGY & TACTICS: Further ahead we came up with our game plan - the strategies and tactics - for answering the question HOW… Our strategy comprises of three elements: These three elements enable us to communicate effectively with our defined Public Relations target groups, match up with Awareness their interests and also prove Campaigns to be cost-effective. Social Marketing As for our tactics, we have divided our effort in two directions: Internal Marketing: On – Campus Marketing  Run a teaser campaign in Student Union, Recreation Center and Library  Science Quiz contest / Experiment Sessions for high school students in TTU  Engineering Case Contest for TTU Engineering undergraduate students  KTXT – RJ Mentions and Contest with sponsored prizes  Maintain a good website/blog for Eco-car and publicize the link for hits  Eco-car T-Shirts, Caps, etc (If budgets allow)  SGA / TAB / Association events – Talk about the Eco-Car 14 | P a g e
  • 15. Texas Tech University  Create the Eco-Car Team Bios (Recognize team contribution)  Shoot an “Eco-Car team at work” video and upload for public viewing  Print Eco-Car Thanksgiving Cards – FREE for students (if budgets allow)  TechAnnounce / Texas Tech Today Updates  Present the Eco-Car in IEEE and ASME (TTU meetings)  Each team member e-mails his/her friends and family about the Eco-car  Booth in University Job Fairs – Sponsorship External Marketing: Off – Campus Marketing  Press Release about TTU and Eco-Car (Local Print Media)  Outreach events (Banners, Leaflets, Pictures and Videos)  Keep updating the media with pictures and videos  Present Papers at Industry or Academic Seminars / Conferences  Write in Engineering or Industry Journals  Tie-up with Environment Organizations to promote the concept of Eco-Car  Participate and present in community events  Booth in Trade Shows  Get Sponsorships from local parties for marketing and outreach initiatives 15 | P a g e
  • 16. Texas Tech University In order to communicate through the above mentioned marketing initiatives, we would make use of the following media vehicles : PRINT  Leaflets, Brochures, Posters, Banners  Trade Literature, Magazines, Journals  Local Newspapers / Dailies  Other Local Magazines ELECTRONIC  Radio Contests  Television – PR Coverage  Youtube Videos  E-Mails  Internet PR (TTU website, Orkut/Facebook and other websites) OTHERS  Outreach – Presentations and Seminars  SGA/TAB Events  Other Events, Polls, Awareness drives 16 | P a g e
  • 17. Texas Tech University BUDGET & EVALUATION Finally, we worked out the budget and the evaluation tools to measure the success of the communication effort. Our Budget break up for Year 1 would be as follows :  Outreach : $800  Marketing : $700  Transport  Posters  Education Material/Demo Kits  Promotional material  Banners  Media Our sources of finance are:  Reimbursements from Eco-Car: The Next Challenge = $1000  Support from TTU T-STEM Center = $500 Thus, by the end of the first year of competition our SMART goal is to reach 9000 TTU students and teachers, 1000 students and teachers from other institutions and 2000 community members. Assuming a 50% word of mouth from these 12000 direct contacts, we would reach 18000 people. Thus the cost effectiveness of the communication effort is ($1500/18000) $0.083 per person reached. An Argentine Proverb says – “Who speaks, sows; Who listens, reaps.” We would sow the seed by implementing our communication plan. And then we would reap the results by listening to our target groups. We plan to evaluate the entire communication, marketing and outreach effort at regular intervals by asking our reached audiences and listening to their 17 | P a g e
  • 18. Texas Tech University feedback. We wish to check whether we achieved our communication goals and matched up to the interests of our target audience. Some tools that would facilitate this evaluation process are as follows:  Regular reports (Outreach, Media and Events)  Awareness survey questionnaire (Annexure 1)  Outreach Feedback / Quiz (Teachers and Students)  Media Coverage (Print cuttings, Video/Audio footage, Event Pictures)  Media Circulation and Reach data analysis Team TTU hopes to change the climate of USA (literally and metaphorically) by fueling its future with green technology! 18 | P a g e