By Thomas J. Tubman
It is hard to believe that we are more than halfway through 2016, and by the time you read this, the year will be nearly two-thirds into the history books. It has been a busy time for the American Energy Coalition, so I thought I would use this month’s column to update you on the AEC’s 2016 marketing campaign.
Two very active committees do all the heavy lifting for AEC. The Marketing Committee guides the creative activities. It is co-chaired by Dan Falcone of Renewable Energy Group, a biofuels producer and developer of renewable chemicals based in Ames, Iowa, and Scott MacFarlane of MacFarlane Energy in Dedham, Mass. The Investment Committee, co-chaired by Brian Coyne of Roth Industries USA, Watertown, N.Y., and Kevin Beckett of R.W. Beckett Corp., North Ridgeville, Ohio, leads the fundraising efforts required to support the AEC’s activities each year.
Central to all marketing activities is the AEC Website that is the repository for all of the Coalition’s marketing assets: e-alerts, radio commercials, bill inserts, data sheets, links to AEC’s social media pages and more. Visit americanenergycoalition.org and explore all that is there, especially the Member Resources section.
The AEC Website received a major update early in 2016. As you probably know, smart phones and tablets are becoming so popular that they are beginning to replace desktop computers for accessing websites and performing Google searches. The updated AEC website is totally interactive and responsive to all the various platforms visitors may use when accessing americanenergycoalition.org. This is important because we want Google to display our pages that result from searches of our key words and key phrases, and we know Google is becoming more sensitive to the way pages display. If pages don’t display well, Google may block them in favor of pages that display better.
Radio has been a key feature of the AEC’s marketing campaigns for several years now and this year is no exception. The spring radio campaign again this year featured 10- and 15-second drive time traffic and weather spots. Twenty-four new commercials were added to 36 existing spots and most included both an AEC and NORA tag line. This option offered state oilheat associations the choice of funding the placement costs with AEC or NORA funds. AEC is very pleased to have had the opportunity to partner with the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association, the Oilheat Institute of Rhode Island, the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, the New York Oil Heating Association, and the Oilheat Institute of Long Island again this year. Visit the AEC Website to listen to the commercials. Retailers can easily download the commercials for use as the “hold” message on their phone systems.
Social media increasingly leads or plays a major role in any marketing program these days, and AEC’s is no different. A key element of its outreach is a “Pay Per Click” Internet marketing campaign in which the Coalition partners with the Oilheat Institute of Rhode Island, the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, the New Your Oil Heating Association, the Oilheat Association of Long Island and the Pennsylvania Petroleum Association.
Another new addition this year is the Wildcatters Club, which allows individual contributors to sign up for monthly recurring credit card donations to help ensure a strong pro-Oilheat voice is heard by all (see the July 2016 issue of Fuel Oil News, page 24).
The AEC is proud of its accomplishments, its talented member-volunteers and its industry partnerships. With competitive heating oil prices here today we look forward to a newly invigorated industry and to talking with you in this column every couple of months.
Thomas J. Tubman is the executive director of the American Energy Coalition and has been with the Coalition since February 2011. A 44-year veteran of the oilheat industry, Tubman began his career in the retail oilheat sector after graduating from Roger Williams College in Rhode Island with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to joining AEC, he spent 12 years with Carlin Combustion Technology, Inc., a manufacturer of oil burners, gas burners, combustion controls, temperature controls and burner ignition systems located in East Longmeadow, Mass.