How to Win Hearts and Minds on Energy, Part 1: From Energy Supporter to Energy Advocate

In the 2016 election I want to make energy abundance a winning issue—which means that more candidates run on and win on a platform of energy abundance, in contrast to the energy poverty policies many of today’s candidates advocate.

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you do, too. But what can you do?

In the next several months out I’ll be rolling out a national energy campaign to impact the 2016 election. But in the meantime, and to prepare for that, there’s a lot you can do to make yourself, your loved ones, or your company incredibly effective at winning hearts and minds on energy.

To understand how, it’s important to understand the 3 key transformations that energy influencers can go through:

1. From supporter to advocate
2. From advocate to champion
3. From champion to thought-leader

This week I’ll discuss the transformation from supporter to advocate.

From Supporter to Advocate

Energy Supporter: An individual who is generally in favor of the most important sources of energy abundance, including fossil fuels, but lacks the motivation and/or capability to persuade others in favor of energy abundance.

Energy Advocate: An individual with the clarity, confidence, and motivation to persuade others in favor of energy abundance.

To become an advocate, an energy supporter requires a) dramatically increased clarity and b) effective tactics to communicate with different audiences.

Clarity is the most important. If you are clear enough about a moral issue you will inevitably become an advocate if not a champion.

heartsandminds3Thus, our number one recommendation is to read and/or assign The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, which clearly and systematically lays out the moral case for energy abundance in general and fossil fuel energy in particular. In addition, we produce a large amount of online content delivered via social media, email, and websites to enhance clarity on the most current controversies. (See my Facebook and Twitter pages.)

As a supporter pursues dramatically enhanced clarity, it is important that they simultaneously learn the art of communication—particularly one-on-one communication.

For various reasons there are very, very few individuals who are effective at changing people’s minds on energy one-on-one, so I am currently developing a course called “How to talk to anyone about energy,” available in the next month. If that interests you, let me know, and I’ll prioritize it even more.

In the meantime, we have several online lectures and papers about how to reframe the debate, including “The Key to Winning Hearts and Minds” and “Arguing to 0 vs. Arguing to 100.”

For examples of what’s possible, see the Hearts and Minds section of this post.

If you are a company trying to turn supporters into advocates, and I believe every company should, it is important to motivate employees to learn about the case for their industry—and how to make it. One way to do this is to hold a speech in front of a large group of employees, ideally broadcast to the entire company. Depending on what makes sense for a company, we offer several free video speeches to show, remote speeches and Q&A, or in-person speeches. This gets everyone motivated and gives a common frame of reference. Combined with employee copies of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels which, in bulk, can include a custom page with a message from your company, you are certain to empower a large percentage of your employees to go from supporters to advocates. If you haven’t read it, make sure to check out the story of how Pioneer Resources did just this.

Next week, I’ll discuss the transformation from energy advocate to energy champion—an individual with a high level of clarity, confidence, and motivation who reaches dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of others.

Stay updated. Join the discussion. Tell us what you think on our Facebook page, or via @GoIndustrial on Twitter.

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