Need to Correct Misinformation Dominates Nuclear Energy Industry Communications in Pacific Rim Nations

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Joint PNC and PCG survey of nuclear industry professionals reveals best communication practices, priority topics and future plans

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While public interest is greater, the concerns are largely the same today as they were before Fukushima.

In a study conducted by the Pacific Nuclear Council (PNC) and Potomac Communications Group, nuclear industry professionals report that correcting misinformation has dominated their communication activities over the last year. Respondents also highlighted the need to make technical information about nuclear energy more accessible and easy to understand. The findings were issued at the Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference in Busan, South Korea.

“The results of our survey will help advance the PNC’s ongoing mission,” said Juan Luis Francois Lacouture, President of the Pacific Nuclear Council. “While public interest is greater, the concerns are largely the same today as they were before Fukushima. International collaboration and sharing of best practices will help us achieve the benefits that nuclear technology has to offer.”

The PNC and Potomac Communications Group initiated the research last year. The web-based survey sought to gain insight into best communication practices, priority topics and future plans in nuclear energy education on the Pacific Rim.

Professionals working in the fields of nuclear energy, science and technology reported that media attention on Fukushima has driven industry outreach to emphasize more online communications. While 36 percent of respondents indicated they do not use social media (such as Facebook and Twitter), 32 percent intend to begin this year. Organizational blogs and forums are increasing in popularity as outreach tools, while factsheets, brochures and events are expected to be less frequently used in the future. Safety and waste remain top public concerns.

“Communicators in the nuclear energy industry recognize that solid communication practices together with sensitivity to local cultures are effective throughout the world. These best practices enable communicators to build the foundation for specific nuclear energy projects through locally fostered support,” said Mimi Limbach, PNC Communications Working Group Chair and Partner at Potomac Communications Group, Inc.

The Pacific Nuclear Council is composed primarily of nuclear societies and associations from nations around the Pacific Rim. Its mission is to unite Pacific Rim professional societies and associations to get together in common programs, to work together on common issues and to provide a forum for the transfer of information between nations more advanced in nuclear science to those beginning the search for the benefits of nuclear science and technology.

Potomac Communications Group, Inc. provides strategic communications, public relations and marketing communications services to trade associations, corporations and government agencies, with special expertise in complex technical, scientific and financial subjects. PCG is particularly known for its work in energy, nuclear energy, engineering and STEM education.

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