How to pitch your clean energy PR story

Posted by Sara Hawthorn

Clean or sustainable energy is big news. It’s the next ‘big opportunity’ as the world finally opens its eyes to the reality of climate change and the eventual end of fossil fuels. But despite its popularity, it doesn’t automatically mean your press release will be the next breaking thing across top news channels. You still need to craft you story and pitch to the right people at the right time. Here are our top tips for achieving success with your clean energy PR story.

1. Know what’s important and why

Seems obvious, we know. But what you think is important and what the journalist thinks is important to their readers could be two very different things. Not getting the hook/angle/direction right could mean your news release misses the mark and some gems are buried under far less important information. With clean energy PR consider what significant industry challenges your story taps into, can it sit within the big topics of the moment? Will it have an impact on consumers or is it focused on engineers or network operators – what do they care about and does your news cater to that?

2. Know your journalists and what they publish

One rolls nicely into two because, if you’re struggling to identify the most important bit of your story, take a look at what’s been published by the journalists you’re targeting. What direction have they gone in, what details have they focused on? The trade press in this area often have their own specialist areas on which they report, take the time, do your research tailor each email/phone call to them.  Everyone knows irrelevant pitches are annoying, and that everyone and their cat is throwing stuff at over-worked journalists every day. Don’t add to that stress.

3. What additional content do you have?

This is an interesting question because back in the day a news release with a photo was sufficient and all that was sent out. But now, thinking about what additional supporting material you can offer is a really great way of elevating your news release over another company’s. Other areas of PR have been doing this a while, but as is often the case the trade side is taking a little longer to catch up. Additional collateral could include a video, infographic, case study or animation.

4. Don’t skimp on the photography

Photography. Is. Important. I say it often and I say it honestly. Make sure you have a great image to offer up with your story. It needs to be clear (non-pixelated, fuzzy or dark), ideally of print-resolution, relevant to the release and, if people are wearing hi-vis and PPE, avoid flash or make sure there is a proper lighting set up. Far too many good stories are lost because the photography is poor. Image libraries are ALWAYS worth the investment, plus with the scope of clean technologies like solar, wind and tidal, there’s scope to get some pretty impressive images using technology like drones.

5. Be available and have something to add

High up on the list of ‘things that annoy journalists’ is pitching a story and then having no-one available to talk further on the release. Remember that you’re sending this story out because it’s interesting/timely and significant to the clean energy industry, you should be primed to talk about it and have something ready to add which isn’t in the original release.

 

Not sure if you have a story to pitch or have a story but not sure who to pitch it to? Talk to us about your clean energy PR news and we’ll point you in the right direction towards successful earned media coverage.