In order to create awareness about the issue of post-war high-rise buildings in private ownership and to gain publicity on the Horizon project and on the potential participation to the Solar Decathlon competition, a communication strategy should be kept in mind. Commercial Science students of Ghent University are deployed to reach and apply some ideas. Their output varies from documentaries to campaigns with celebrities as role model.
In addition, the students are thinking about the best way to communicate with the residents of the apartments in order to inform them about renovation possibilities and to convince them about the improvement of their standard of living due to renovation. Involvement of the residents is extremely important to gain an insight into their complains, needs and preferences. Besides, the awareness of energy efficiency is an essential purpose. The communication is not an easy question taking into account the wide variety of residents whereof a significant part does speak a foreign language or is illiterate. Also the age of the residents is quite diverse. To reach all residents, different communication tools are required.
Besides it is necessary to involve companies to the renovation project. The increasing amount of renovations and the quest for innovative techniques should convince building companies and contractors to take part in the Horizon project. They can also be attracted by the reputation and the positive attention the project involves, as well as the professional network that can be expanded. The Communication students are researching how to reach companies.
Finally, the students are looking for an effective manner to ‘translate’ the issue of the high-rise buildings into an efficient and innovating pavilion. They are researching which communication tools and techniques can be used in order to give visitors of the Solar Decathlon competition interesting and valuable information. The entire experience needs to give visitors a pleasant and rewarding perception.