Appointment of Dry by BCI heralds first steps of North American comms campaign

Battery Council International announced on September 20 it had appointed Lisa Dry as its director of strategic communications, marking the active start of its communications campaign the Advancing Lead Batteries Communications Initiative.

Previously Dry was senior director of product communications for the American Chemistry Council.

Here, she provided strategic communications guidance and was the media spokesperson for the Chemical Product and Technology Division, which included more than 70 different product and technology groups involved in the business of chemistry.

She also spent two years as the principal of Dry Strategies, where she delivered strategic planning, editorial services, media training and issue management services to a variety of biotechnology clients.

Dry will work with an advisory group consisting of BCI members East Penn Manufacturing, EnerSys, Exide Technologies, Gopher Resource, Johnson Controls, RSR Corporation, Tech Metals, The Doe Run Company and the ILA’s Andy Bush.

“We are in the early days of the project, having spent several months doing foundational work to better understand the political and media landscape that affects the lead battery industry,” said Dry.

“We have identified four ‘pillars’, or key attributes, of lead batteries that we will build the program around: lead batteries are sustainable, essential, innovative and safe.

“I think there’s a surprising amount of innovation in the industry that has gone unnoticed. The need to shine a spotlight on innovation in the lead battery industry was a key driver in the formation of this program. Lead batteries have been a reliable and safe energy storage solution for decades, but because they are tried and true, people are often surprised to learn of the substantial amount if innovation in the industry. We want to make sure that our audience of influencers, that includes lawmakers and regulators, is aware of this fact that that lead batteries are a bridge to our renewable energy future, including wind and solar.

“I characterize lead batteries as being the enabling technology for these newer energy sources, and a technology that will carry us from today’s capabilities to tomorrow’s possibilities.

“Lead batteries have the capacity to significantly impact the future of our world’s energy policies, whether through smart grid capacities or advanced high-capacity lead batteries.”

The move by the BCI is part of a two-pronged campaign by BCI working with the International Lead Association. The ILA is close to finalizing a similar appointment and, according to ILA managing director Andy Bush, hopes to launch its own initiative in Europe early in the new year.

“The aim of the ALBCI is a move to target decision makers and those that influence them across government and industry,” said Mark Thorsby, head of BCI.

“The initiative seeks to raise awareness of the importance of lead batteries, as well as inform and educate stakeholders on the need for continued investment in sustainable battery technologies.”

“Some NGOs [non-governmental organizations] have an enormous sway of influence and we intend to be able to show them the true facts about our industry. We’re looking to communicate this to regulatory, judicial and environmental groups. This will happen in various ways but we’ll certainly be giving briefings to specialist media outlets such as Politico, which are hugely influential in informing US Congress opinion.”

“We want to ensure that regulators and policymakers who make decisions about the future of the industry make informed decisions,” said Dry. “We want to communicate to them the very essential nature of lead batteries to our everyday life, this the name of our website, Essential Energy Everyday (www.essentialenergyeveryday.com).

The site was launched earlier this year and the second phase incorporating additional content, including video and industry reports, will soon be available.

Essential Energy Everyday also has a presence on Facebook and Twitter to deliver geotargeted messages to specific audiences.