Keeping a finger on the pulse of energy transition.


We all want sustainable energy. It’s just, we don’t really like it if we need new cables or, heaven forbid, a power pylon in our back yard. TenneT is continuously keeping a finger on the pulse with MarketResponses Direct Feedback. Communicating with – and learning from – stakeholders during today’s most challenging transition.

TenneT is the manager of the Dutch high-voltage grid. Creating a sustainable energy supply requires the installation of many new high-voltage connections. Which, in turn, requires communication with many different stakeholders. Manager Business and Project Communication Ursela Schennink explains:

“In the 2013 Energy Agreement it was agreed that the Netherlands will accelerate the sustainability of its energy supply, and this brings with it a lot of work for TenneT. Sustainable energy generated by the wind or the sun, for example, has to be transported from the place where it is generated to the place where it is used. New infrastructure is needed to transport wind energy generated at sea to industries, cities and villages, so that everyone always has electricity, wherever they are. Because society is electrifying. We are using ever more electricity, e.g. for electric cars.

The installation of new high-voltage connections is a project that takes years to realize. And throughout this period we are facing a huge variety of stakeholders: provincial and municipal authorities, land owners, neighbourhoods. And of course, each have their own set of interests, their own wish list. Communication with these groups is our top priority. But how can you communicate in a structured and useful way and strike up a conversation with such a diverse group of stakeholders?

Tool and knowledge

MarketResponse was already performing our corporate reputation survey. In 2013, when we asked them to think about a solution for this communication challenge, their Direct Feedback system was a great tool. To be honest, though, the tool wasn’t the main thing. What we valued even more was the market research know-how that it is built on.” By means of MarketResponse Direct Feedback we are asking stakeholders to share their opinion several times per project. How satisfied are they with TenneT’s communication about the project, how are the communication channels assessed and what is the general perception of TenneT?

This yields simple handles for the intermediate improvement of the interaction and communication process with stakeholders and it offers openings for a conversation.

Because we are doing multiple quantitative measurements for all our projects, we get a great benchmark. And if necessary, we organize a qualitative session for more in-depth insights, e.g. if the quantitative measurement shows us that a particular group of stakeholders is unhappy.

Continuous learning and improvement

Schennink: “What makes Direct Feedback a good solution for us? Structural measurements, but especially: the standardised questionnaire, that provides truly relevant information and that we use time and again for all projects and in each project phase. This means that within the projects we can learn from each other, are able to coach our people and improve our

communication process. In my opinion we have organized the communication with our stakeholders quite well, but there is always room for improvement.

We appreciate our relationship with MarketResponse. Maybe that’s typical of market researchers: you really feel that they are people who understand people.”