We’re passionate about cleantech at Metis, and we’re passionate about PR. So why not combine the two?
Members of the Metis team give an overview of media and analyst relations and traditional marketing strategies to Refuel members.
We recently hosted an event for Refuel (formerly Women In Clean Tech), which is made up of women in the cleantech industry around Boston. From MIT students to LEED-accredited professionals, the group is full of bright women who care about making our world cleaner. Check out the tips we gave Refuel on how to be successful in PR and marketing and thereby, cleantech.
Media and analyst relations: It’s important to build relationships with people, especially members of the media and analyst communities. Remember to always be polite. Even if targets don’t want to talk to you at the moment, they might soon enough. Sometimes reporters don’t have time to interview your company and write an article, but they often accept contributed articles. Maintain a positive relationship with a reporter, and she could call you looking for an article written by your company.
Social media: Companies can use social media to talk with industry influencers. You’re reaching out to reporters and analysts who are covering the latest trends in the space, so be sure to connect with them via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Whether you post their articles or ask them questions, they’ll see your company’s name.
Traditional marketing: Traditional marketing is a great way to reach customers because they’re already familiar with these strategies. They’re exposed to ads and videos in their daily lives, so why not produce your own media for them? Try creating an e-newsletter to keep prospects and partners updated on the latest happenings. Just remember to be consistent. If you send the newsletter on a certain day every month, keep sending it at that time.
There is no denying that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) contributes to the cleantech market. We know this firsthand because we do green public relations for two of those companies: Sun Catalytix (spun out by Professor Dan Nocera) and XL Hybrids (spun out by MIT alumni).
Earlier this month, we attended the MIT Technology Showcase and Conference, which highlighted all the local innovations, as well as key – and sometimes controversial – energy topics from industry leaders. These leaders included the likes of Marvin Odum of Shell Oil and Tom Sloan of the Kansas House of Representatives, as well as several well-established MIT energy professors. But one topic that resonated as we continue to work with companies that are creating technology for hybrid electric vehicles is the shale gas issue.
With gas prices continuing to rise and fluctuate, consumers and politicians are researching alternative forms of transportation and the future of our gas supply. Some are championing hybrid electric vehicles and others are researching other oil and gas options like shale gas.
In case you haven’t heard, some in the industry say that shale gas provides domestic abundance, reduces greenhouse gases and increases jobs. Shell recently announced that it received China's 1st shale gas deal, helping to identify the right technology to unlock China’s potentially large shale gas resource in the next few years. But the panel at the conference highlighted more of the hard risks and environmental impacts such as groundwater contamination, wastewater disposal, truck traffic noise and use of hydraulic fracturing.
So will shale gas prevail? The panelists disputed that:
- A research lifecycle analysis of the entire process needs to be done in order to fully understand if these supplies can be developed and produced in an environmentally sound way.
- Time will tell.
We’ll all stay tuned as MIT and other experts focus on this research. In the meantime, we’ll continue to focus on the readily available green technological innovations that are making an impact on today’s society.
A big tip shared loud and clear by venture capitalists at the Clean Energy 2011 Conference in Boston in October was there’s enough late-stage capital right now, but too little at the early stage. Among the startup and trend presentations on supplying the grid, greening transportation and managing energy efficiency, venture capitalists and local cleantech enthusiasts focused on project funding and advice for startups and emerging companies.
Venture capitalists emphasized that this is an opportunity for unconventional investors like family offices and corporate and angel investors to step up and invest in early-stage companies, since cleantech venture capital is performing as well as venture capital overall.
Ernst & Young recently confirmed the general availability of capital in this market. The firm released the results of its analysis of U.S. venture capital investment in cleantech during the third quarter of 2011. Even with a non-ideal investment market, Q3 investments in cleantech grew 73 percent to $1.1 billion compared to Q3 2010.
The takeaway: The overall investment in the cleantech market is there, but the breakdown of which stage companies get that capital is not always clear. Cleantech is the wave of the future. We work with companies in industries from solar power to technology deployed in electric vehicles and wind pitch systems because advancing these technologies is not just good business; it’s essential to our future and our planet. VC’s obviously agree, as well.
There were 50 new cleantech ventures funded nationally last year. Ten of them were in New England. Boston is in the center of this effort with alumni and professors at MIT and entrepreneurial graduate programs at other surrounding universities establishing cleantech efforts. We’ll be watching which ventures get funded during the next year as we continue our work with clients that are manufacturing breakthrough technology in the space.
Which recently funded cleantech company is your favorite?
Give it up for Cleantech once again! One of our partners, FullPower, Inc., a full-service consulting firm that provides services for the renewable energy storage market, announced today that it is launching The Advanced Energy Storage 2010 Conference and Exposition (AES2010), a conference for scientists, engineers and manufacturers who are developing and deploying green energy generation and efficient power distribution solutions for communities worldwide. AES2010 will take place October 12 -14, 2010 at the beautiful Catamaran Resort in San Diego, Calif.
FullPower, Inc. also is offering industry sponsorship and speaking opportunities that will address critical industry issues within renewable energy generation, smart grid, transportation, manufacturing and the development of advanced materials and nanotechnologies. Attending companies include: Sempra Generation, Ioxus, Inc. (Metis client), NessCap Ltd., Maxwell Technologies, EnerG2, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Lockheed Martin, Ballard Fuel Cells, Quantum Transportation, Dressler-Rand, Firelake Capital, ReliOn, UltraLife, PowerGenix, Axion International Power, IVUS, U.S. Army REDCOM and Institute for Transportation Studies.
We all know that consumers continue to look for ways to respond to limited resources, international security concerns and global warming, the demand for new energy sources continues. Therefore, that demand exists in each of the following event topics:
- Using advanced energy storage to distribute power when and where it is needed via a smart grid.
- Establishing new, cost-effective energy storage solutions to extend the range and performance characteristics of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.
- Addressing the potential environmental nightmare posed by the proliferation of portable electronics and the eventual need for extensive battery disposal.
- Identifying the financial sources available to promote the growth of clean technologies and green solutions.
To register for the event or inquire about sponsorship or speaking opportunities, go to www.fullpowerinc.com/AES2010.html. FullPower, Inc. and Metis look forward to meeting you there.