Blog | November 8, 2017

Lead Battery Groups Partner on Video Project To Showcase Industry

Looking to reinvent the image of lead batteries, Battery Council International and the International Lead Association partnered on the Essential Energy Everyday campaign and related Good Neighbors video.

Lead batteries are often seen as an outdated technology or as being dangerous. But they’re also used to start 1.4 billion cars a day worldwide, and they’re a key component in hospital backup systems, data centers, and cell phone towers.

With the help of a new video, Battery Council International (BCI) and the International Lead Association (ILA) are pushing that latter message, as well as humanizing the industry and educating key stakeholders on their usefulness.

“Lead batteries are an essential product that’s used by humanity every day,” said Mark Thorsby, executive vice president of BCI. “You can’t believe how much lead batteries support our way of life. They’re safe, they’re sustainable, they’re the most recycled element in the world—we recycle about 99.3 percent [of them].”

But, because those points weren’t resonating with their key stakeholders (e.g., regulators and legislators involved in transportation, energy, environment, and occupational health and safety), the two organizations partnered up on Essential Energy Everyday campaign to re-educate those stakeholders, as well as the media, on the safety, sustainability, and innovation surrounding lead batteries. The Good Neighbors video, which seeks to humanize the industry by interviewing employees at several manufacturing and recycling plants, is just one of the ways the organizations are trying to do this.

“We’ve done some pretty extensive research with our key stakeholder groups … and they told us that they need their information fast,” said Thorsby. “They don’t have time to read a lot of stuff, so they told us that video works; a good, easy-to-navigate website works; social media works; and so we’ve designed a communications strategy that utilizes that media.”

Thorsby said that the industry has a very interesting story to tell—and that the Good Neighbors video does a good job of telling part of that story in an unscripted and unprompted way. He said the video rook about six weeks to create, from start to finish, and the campaign will release another video on innovation either later this year or by early 2018.

“We employ about 20,000 people in the United States today,” Thorsby said. “We make an economic contribution of a little more than $11 billion, and we provide good paying jobs. The average employee in the battery industry makes $62,000 a year, and it was just cool to listen about the impact their jobs and our industry were having on their families and their communities. We were very pleased with the outcome.”

 

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Tim Fister from the Argonne National Laboratory

There's a lot of room for growth in ... lead battery chemistry ... it's something that would really make it even more competitive for things like stationary storage.

Dr. Tim Fister, Materials Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory