Designing Awareness

16 December 2021 - Published by Deirdre Buist
How do you design an effective communication campaign to engage and activate homeowners regarding energy renovation? On 15th December, the Stronghouse consortium held another in a series of themed online meetings. This time the partners exchanged good practices and lessons learned on the topic of designing an awareness-raising campaign and their approaches.

What motivates homeowners to take those first steps towards energy renovation? It's complex.  Active discussions between the partners clarified that there is no one-size-fits-all approach - the target group can be found across a wide-ranging demographic spectrum. For this reason, Stronghouse makes use of Personas to describe various ‘types’. These Personas help to identify more segmented target groups, their situation, life phase, challenges and wishes. Once this has been done, communication can be more tailored – and ultimately more effective. Personas are then guided through a Customer Journey. 

Stronghouse’s 7-step approach

Finding the right Personas can be a challenge in itself. We revisited the seven potential Stronghouse steps to targeting individual homeowners and supporting their energy renovation journey:

  •        Identify Personas
  •        Create a tailored message
  •        Direct to suitable websites
  •        Provide digital calculating tools
  •        Inform on financing options
  •        Support the selection of professionals
  •        Support subsidy application

Trust, desire, contact

While jointly filling in a Miro Board to exchange experience, the partners shared their thoughts on, for example, the importance of trust, creating a desire to take action, contact and follow-up between homeowners and local stakeholders, and using the same terminology. Another interesting point was made in relation to the driving force behind an awareness campaign (public or private?). Not all organizations have sufficient resources for an extensive reach.


Sharing success stories

Sondeborg and Drenthe gave more detailed presentations of their current campaigns and shared some very valuable observations. One inspiring example of a digital awareness-raising campaign for energy neutral living, focussing more on behavioural change, was shared by the Province of Drenthe. The  target group  of - 'Gewoon Zo'/ 'Just like this' -is young families (30 – 49 yrs.) and children. Communication methods include social media (Facebook, Instagram and TikTok) and a toolbox for primary schools, while a real ‘hook’ in this campaign is the ‘Polar Bear Challenge'**.The challenge actively engages children and their parents, awards prizes and the jackpot of a fully accommodated weekend family trip to Wildlands Adventure Park and Zoo, a highly popular attraction in the region

The campaign created enormous exposure across the whole province.  Other campaigns, like those undertaken in cooperation with the Drents Energieloket, are more directed towards the technical aspects of energy renovation.


Tips & Tricks

• Monitor and analyse statistics/campaign data for insight into the most effective forms of communication.
• Start with a broad strategy and extensive mix, with traditional media (newspapers, radio, TV, posters, flyers etc.) and digital channels (e-mail, newsletters), social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.
• Design a local approach, each region has its own characteristics.
• Visualize – besides e-mail, street banners, thermal-scanning and other visualizing tools are effective.
• Focus not only on the technical transition but also on behavioural change.
• Share the Customer Journey tool with the homeowners too.
• Choose a specific target group and then upscale.
• Introduce Gamification - this can be a very useful tool to engage and inform the target group.

Considering the ongoing travel and live meeting limitations, the Stronghouse thematic workshops online are proving to be a fruitful method for transnational knowledge transfer.  Under the talented direction of ‘anchor man’ and project coordinator Hein Braaksma, our digital discussions and  exchanged expertise form the basis of the project’s continued success.

That being said, it’s ‘fingers crossed’ for the consortium’s first physical meeting, currently being planned for the end of January 2022.

You can access a detailed report on the  work session  here.

 Visit the Dutch website:IJsberenchallenge - Gewoon Zo (

 **The challenge: How many jumpers can you wear at once? 

Films can be shared (with parental permission) through Instagram, TikTik or Facebook, (using the campaign tag) or submitted through e-mail.