The CleanTech sector has observed rapid growth in recent years with climate change pressures mounting and environmental efficiency becoming increasingly important for consumers, businesses and investors alike. The UK has been home to several pioneering businesses in the sector including renewable energy Unicorn Octopus Energy who have successfully capitalised on the media interest in climate-related issues. The north of England has played a pivotal role in driving this agenda forward with seventeen foreign direct investment clean technology projects set up in 2020 only. This is a telling statistic given that both London and Scotland as a country only managed eleven.
However, given this influx of investment, it is imperative we acknowledge the competitive landscape that accompanies this. With more businesses emerging firms must ensure they have strong messaging and clear unique selling points in order to stand out within the crowded market.
Following the COP26 Climate Conference in October 2021 and the eagerly anticipated build up to the COP27 conference in November, environmental issues have remained top of the agenda for journalists which presents a clear opportunity for CleanTech businesses to raise awareness of their missions and present their technology as solutions to the ongoing Climate Crisis. Here, we give our tips on different ways to kick off the PR for your CleanTech business.
Shout about successes
Showing your authenticity and that you practice what you preach is essential to any PR campaign. One way to show this and a key element to raise awareness through PR is by offering case studies (particularly those with a human-interest focus) to compel the reader.
For CleanTech companies, the most successful case studies will show how your business has improved someone’s life or enabled another company to become more sustainable with clear, data-based results to back up the story. This third-party validation will lend credibility to your organisation.
Beyond case studies, CleanTech companies should also focus their external communications strategies on growth milestones and their founder stories. These stories are critical to building legitimacy as well attracting investor interest within a saturated market.
There are a number of ways to secure news coverage through PR but a significant instrument to help get the spotlight quickly is hijacking the news agenda. Monitoring industry developments and responding to them quickly can enable your business to secure comment opportunities with high-profile and well-respected media publications. Working with a proactive agency with strong media relationships is critical to ensure that your business and its spokespeople are part of these media conversations.
Securing comment opportunities and broadcast interviews has the potential to establish your business and its leadership team as leading authorities on the industry, further building trust and credibility with investors and stakeholders alike.
For example, for CleanTech companies operating in the renewables space, the current energy crisis is being covered by media on an almost daily basis. Providing journalists with a fresh perspective on this issue could open your business up to a much wider audience, enhancing your credibility and helping to position your business as part of the solution to this issue.
Data and Insight
While their purpose and vision may be obvious and justified for many cleantech businesses, demonstrating the need for the business to the public and why they should be interested can be difficult. The subject matter can be complex, the conversation is saturated, and you need something that can grab people’s attention fast.
Harnessing data and insights can be a great way to create this interest for both the media and the consumer, demonstrating the need for a certain cleantech solution and exposing trends in the sector that haven’t been made public yet. Companies can use their own internal, anonymised data to create these trends-based stories or commission new market research to create the stories from scratch.
These data-led stories can also be leveraged by your Sales and/or Marketing teams in order to support both new business conversations as well as your firm’s content marketing strategy.
Thought leadership articles can act as an extension of your news hijacking program, where your PR team pitches long-form, opinion-based articles that highlight the topics your spokespeople and business are experts in. The in-depth nature of these articles highlights your credibility to your specific target audiences, which can help with your sales pipeline, and are also an avenue to show where your CleanTech business stands on specific news or government issues, showing your brand purpose.
This tactic is a great complement to more promotional PR tactics, allowing your business to educate consumers on CleanTech and why it’s needed, show your expertise, and fuel your media coverage pipeline.
Given the influx of CleanTech start-ups, competition for people’s attention is high. PR can be a great tool in helping your business stand out amongst the crowd but requires consistent effort and pitching to do so.
To find out more about our experience across the CleanTech and sustainability sectors click here.