16.7 Crisis Communications Scenario

You work as a Communications Manager for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the trade group that represents the country’s wind energy industry. An article appears in the Journal of Raptor Research that reports on the results of a study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The study found that wind energy facilities have killed at least 85 golden and bald eagles between 1997 and 2012—and that eagle fatalities possibly may be much higher. The study also indicated that eagle deaths have increased dramatically in recent years as the nation has turned increasingly to wind farms as a source of renewable, low-pollution energy, with nearly 80 percent of the fatalities occurring between 2008 and 2012 alone.

Wind Turbines

stevebidmead – Wind Turbines – CC0

Your Executive Director (ED) asks you to prepare the Association’s response to the questions and requests for comment that are certainly going to be pouring in as the results of the study start to gain public awareness. You need to get up to speed quickly on the topic of bird mortality due to wind energy facilities. Let’s look at how you would prepare to respond to this “crisis.”