Conducting Outreach for a Propane Technology R&D Program

Client: Propane Education & Research Council
propane tank demonstrating operation of a propane mower PERC R&D Communications Vision graphic PERC communications materials Logos showing distribution of PERC communications materials

Project Overview

Nexight Group worked with the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) to develop a range of communications materials that provide propane marketers and their customers with information about new and existing propane-fueled products.

Need

PERC is an industry-funded organization that partners with researchers and manufacturers to support the development and commercialization of propane-fueled technologies. To keep the industry up to speed on the latest propane advances and assure them that their contributions are being put to good use, PERC must regularly communicate to the industry about the projects it’s working on and any new products that become available. However, the information and performance data that PERC receives from its partners is highly technical and complex in format. PERC needed an outreach program that could effectively inform the industry about these new advances in a direct and accurate way that they could quickly understand and use to market new propane products to their customers.

Our Solution

Nexight developed an outreach strategy that focused on synthesizing highly technical information to give propane marketers the information they wanted to know while achieving PERC’s organizational goals. Over the course of two years, Nexight worked closely with PERC to develop a range of high-impact, technically accurate communications materials written in the language of the target propane marketer audience. These materials provided propane marketers and their customers with useful, accessible information about propane research, technology development, and propane-fueled products and equipment. Examples include:

  • 11 technology fact sheets that each contain a description of the technology, its key benefits, and future development plans in a consistent, scannable template
  • A four-page research summary comparing the performance of 13 different types of remote tank level monitoring systems (see Communicating Comparative Data on Propane Tank Level Monitoring Systems).
  • More than 20 articles for PERC newsletters designed to inform propane marketers about new propane technologies and advances in the field
  • Outreach materials for the launch of new propane products, which included working directly with the product manufacturers to align messaging and ensure ideal timing
We also worked with PERC to build a distribution network for the materials we developed. This R&D Outreach Network comprised a database of more than 3,500 contacts in the propane industry, research and manufacturing communities, and relevant media.

Impact

Our PERC communications pieces have been distributed to close to 4,000 propane industry members through PERC’s e-newsletter, in person at industry conferences, and via the PERC website. Industry publications Butane-Propane News and LP Gas Magazine also picked up 12 of our stories related to PERC research and technology development projects. Our communications pieces have been used by propane marketers to share information on new technologies when discussing opportunities for their customers to use propane in their homes, businesses, farms, and vehicles.

Products

EcoGen Propane Generator Set Technology Fact Sheet

Propane-Fueled Grain Dryers Technology Fact Sheet

Remote Tank Level Monitoring Systems Executive Summary(Distinguished Award, Society for Technical Communication, D.C. Chapter Technical Publication Competition 2011-2012; Excellence Award, Society for Technical Communication 2012 International Summit Awards Competition)

Relevant Technical Expertise

Energy