Let Folks Know about Your New Electric Vehicle Charger
Installing electric vehicle chargers is a great way to help protect clean air, attract clients to your business, and provide a benefit to employees. Every year more Maine people—and visitors to Maine—are choosing to drive electric, and the choice gets easier with every publicly available charging station. Spreading the word about your charger will help you maximize its success and speed Maine along toward greater use of electric vehicles.
Here are the our top five ways to charge into the future:
1. Announce News of the Upcoming Charger to the Local Community Right Away
Send a press release to your local newspaper and TV station, post it to your website, and promote it on social media (use the hashtag #DriveElectricMaine). Be sure to include the date it will be operational, and that it is available to the public. If you received a grant to help fund the charger, mention that—grant awards make for good news. You can use our template announcement press release.
2. Capture the Installation Process
Take a photo (or even a few) during the installation and share it on your social media accounts to remind people that a new EV charger is coming soon. Ask the installer to share the photo on their social media accounts as well. Share with NRCM (@NRCMEnvironment), too! #DriveElectricMaine
3. Host a Ribbon Cutting Once the Charger is Live
A ribbon-cutting event with local elected officials and the business that installed your charger is one of the most effective ways to spread the word about your new charger (including by attracting media attention). It also helps educate the public and opinion leaders about the purpose and benefits of the charger. See our toolkit for tips, draft talking points, and a draft template ribbon-cutting press release—use it as part of an invitation to the media.
4. Add Your Charger to Plug Share
This widely used website (www.plugshare.com) and app allows electric vehicle drivers to find the closest chargers to them whenever they’re in need of one. This is free publicity for your business while providing a public service.
5. Update Your Website, Promote on Social Media, and Include a Story in Your Email Newsletter
Add a photo and information to your website about your charger and link to it via your social media accounts. If you have a newsletter, consider including a feature about the new charger. What’s the location? Does it cost users to charge? How quickly will a car battery charge? Why did you choose to install it? All of these details will help increase visibility of your charger.
How to Host a Successful EV Charger Ribbon Cutting
1. Choose a date and time soon after the charging station is completed and live. Between mid-and late-morning (10:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.) on a weekday is best for attracting reporters.
2. Plan the ceremony. Identify 3-5 people to speak for 1-2 minutes about the benefits of installing an electric car charger. Ask people to be concise and speak to one or two major points. Some people to consider inviting to speak are:
- Owner/manager of the site host
- Local Chamber of Commerce representative or local business owner
- Local elected official from your town or your state legislators (State Representative or State Senator)
- Local business owner
- Efficiency Maine and/or the company that installed your charger.
3. Make it a celebration by inviting area residents, customers, and other members of the public. Inviting people two to three weeks before your event is a good amount of time for people to plan ahead, but don’t forget to send a reminder the week of the ribbon cutting. If you know anyone with an electric car, invite them to come and use the new charger for the first time.
4. Invite the media. Invite local media outlets to your event a few days before the ribbon cutting and again on the morning of the event as a reminder. Include a brief summary of the event, time/date/location, and names of people who will speak. The best people to reach out to are editors, reporters you have worked with before, business reporters, or reporters who cover your town or county. Contact information is usually provided on the media outlet’s website, but if you need any recommendations reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Gather all your materials using this checklist.
6. Send reminders. For invitees and the public, send your reminder the week of the event. For reporters, sending a reminder either the day before the event or the morning of the event is best.
7. Prepare and send out a press release. Using this press release template, draft a press release, including quotes from any relevant speakers or local officials. Finalize the press release the day before the event and bring copies to the event in case media show up. After the event, send the press release (copy and paste into the body of the email, don’t attach as a document) to local reporters, TV stations, or radio.
8. Don’t forget to take pictures to share on social media with the hashtag #DriveElectricMaine.
Execute a great ribbon cutting to show off your new charger so more people will come to use it!
Download a printable version of these tips and event checklist.
For more information, please contact Sophie Janeway, Climate & Clean Energy Outreach Coordinator at the Natural Resources Council of Maine at email@example.com.