It doesn’t matter if you’re on the board of directors, part of the marketing and communications team or delivering the technology to customers on the ground – everybody wants to see high-value, mainstream media coverage for their cleantech company. The allure of seeing the name of the organisation you work for appearing in leading publications such as the Financial Times, Forbes and the BBC is incredibly strong.
Achieving high-impact and high-value mainstream media attention can have a direct impact on your commercial success. However, getting into global titles requires time and patience. You need significant milestones and third-party endorsements to achieve the kind of coverage you dream of. Here are a few ways of making sure the approach you take to building your profile is structured and set for success.
Your story needs to be clear for all to see
Even if you have customer reference cases and the backing of others to draw upon, the most essential ingredient to securing mainstream media coverage may still be missing – your why. Journalists write stories, so make it as easy as possible for them to write yours by spending time uncovering yours. You should then tie in your commercial developments, company milestones and value proposition to create one compelling, big picture. This will allow journalists to come on your business journey with you and support your global growth every step of the way.
Make an effort to build solid relationships
Forging good relationships with journalists takes time and persistence. Before you even think about approaching reporters from mainstream titles, you need to ensure that solid foundations are in place with relevant trade publications. These outlets are usually incredibly loyal and will help build trust with more high-profile targets. A journalist writing for publications such as The Economist or The New York Times will have a healthy appreciation of brand reputation, so will look at the coverage your company has already received. They could even potentially make a decision on when, or also if, to cover you based on your current brand recognition.
Set realistic goals
High-value media coverage isn’t achievable for companies in a lot of industries, especially cleantech, which is why it’s important to manage your expectations early. If you don’t expect there to be a regular stream of commercial developments to keep your name in the news, then achieving mainstream media attention shouldn’t be your PR focus. If this is the case, then you will probably see far more results, as well as increased sales, by achieving targeted and consistent coverage in trade publications. In fact, in some cases PR may not be the right path at all. Content marketing such as thought leadership articles can be just as effective at building your audience and sharing your unique selling point and brand with the world, enabling you to achieve your commercial goals.