The wind farm, which will be located up to 13km off the coast of Co. Wicklow, will power almost 450,000 homes annually and reduce Ireland’s annual carbon emissions by around 1%, offsetting over half a million tonnes of harmful CO2.
Heneghan played a leading role in the public affairs, social media, and media relations plan for the public consultation.
As SSE Renewables operate in a heavily regulated sector, they require a high level of public affairs engagement and public consultation involving projects that impact upon local communities. Heneghan’s development of both a political and stakeholder engagement strategy communicating with senior management and the project manager was a crucial element in the overall success of the Arklow Bank Wind Park project.
Due to Covid 19 restrictions, the SSE Renewables project team were unable to host the traditional process of public consultation involving meeting members of the public in person and therefore, the Public Consultation migrated online. Heneghan played a leading role in the social media and media relations activity. Within the timeframe of the public consultation process, a requirement of SSE Renewables was to inform the local community about the project. A key tactic for this is through media relations targeted at publications that the relevant audiences engage with.
This provided an opportunity to promote the project, its benefits to the local community and other positive developments in the area as a result of the project.
The social and digital media strategy devised by Heneghan included the development of a sponsored LinkedIn targeted towards a bespoke audience in the region. A dedicated webpage for the online public consultation process was also designed to capture the number of visitors to the page and track the number of participants in the community briefing sessions with members of the project team that ran throughout the campaign.
The LinkedIn campaign reached over 80,000 LinkedIn users in the area.
The team worked in close consultation with the SSE Renewables’ Corporate Affairs and Community Engagement teams and the design team during the public consultation process.