One message that was delivered during the 26th Annual Ethanol Conference over and over again is that both legislators and consumers need to know the faces of ethanol – to hear personal stories of how ethanol benefits America. One member of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) has realized the power of a personal story and that is Gene Griffith, CEO and co-founder of Patriot Renewable Fuels based in Annawan, Illinois.
When Patriot went into production five years ago, Griffith noted that a shift was beginning from consumer acceptance of ethanol to consumer skepticism. “At that point in time, we’ve seen a lot of change in the acceptance of ethanol and they way its promoted and the way its accepted not only by the person on the street, but by the policy people in Washington, D.C.” he explained. “So it’s changed a lot and I think we need to do some things to correct that.”
When asked about when he realized that he needed to step up and begin promoting the positive message of ethanol, Griffith said during the last few months all the major ethanol associations have launched campaigns and he started looking at what they were doing. He realized that the industry isn’t going to get good support unless they step up, and so he has tried to help get more community involvement.
It was then they he along with several others, including his wife Kathy, realized that they needed to figure out how to use social media. They identified that their five year anniversary would be a good event with which to begin trying out some social media tools. They began actively using their Facebook page, set up a Twitter account and even began blogging on their website. In a matter of days, thousands of people, both from their local community and elsewhere, began learning about Patriot Renewable Fuels, their partners, employees and their products.
Griffith said that while trying to figure out how to use the tools was a bit overwhelming, he also noted that they are definitely getting the message out and encourages other ethanol plants to do the same.
Learn how to get into the social media game and why you should get into the social media space in my interview with Gene Griffith.Get to Know a Face of Ethanol