4 lessons from the PR techniques of the solar power industry

by | Mar 20, 2019 | Analysis, Public Relations

Solar power might seem like a niche industry. It has a very specific purpose, and as an energy source, is a fairly unique part of people’s lives that few other companies or industries can match. However, as an alternative energy source that has had to work hard to earn recognition in a very well-established field, solar power has had to implement some creative and effective PR strategies. And good PR, as we know, is not limited by field.

Listed here are a handful of PR methods that solar power has been using to great effect that might be able to offer you and your business a similar boost.

Share your stories

Many effective solar power PR techniques focus on sharing individual stories. This could be a story from an individual person or a business, but if there’s a great success story out there as a result of your project, share it!

Sharing a well-written story can be more difficult and time-consuming than simply sharing facts, but studies have shown that people respond much more positively to a good personal story. When people hear of the great success someone else has had with solar power, they will be much more likely to investigate it for themselves. This same principle can easily work for you and your PR efforts.

Show off your unexpected benefits

Solar power PR, of course, is heavily focused on the benefits of solar energy to the environment. It’s a good time to be environmentally-friendly, and if your company has any environmental advantages—even if it’s something simple like eco-friendly light bulbs or not using straws in your break room—let people know about it. Even the small things can make people feel more positively about your work.

This advice isn’t meant to only apply to environmental perks. Look (closely!) around your organization and make a list of all the little things that make you and your people stand out from the rest. Even if it’s something light bulb-sized, the little things that give your business personality can really make you stand out and be remembered.

Look for news value

Because solar power is constantly looking for a broader audience (aren’t we all?), the industry as a whole is very news-conscious. Seeking out potential news stories and knowing where to pitch them to a receptive audience can give your business a great publicity jump.

If you feel as though finding a news angle will be daunting, try looking at your work more creatively. As we stated above, people love stories, and even the little things can be enough to pique the public interest. Depending on the news outlet, you can pitch stories about inspirational personal stories, innovative office technology, community interaction with your company, or just an exciting milestone. If you do your research about the places you’re pitching your stories to, you might be surprised about what stories you can get out and share.

Quantify your results

It might seem like a contradiction of the idea of telling personal stories, but if your business is in a position to quantify any of your work, try it. Part of the success of solar power PR is the appealing numbers they can pitch to people about average hours of sunlight in their state, or just sum totals of cash that they could save by using solar. People who like to make logical, numbers-based decisions will gravitate towards this style of PR.

People are drawn in by stories, but if you’re looking for a quick pitch, use some positive numbers. When people are short on time, or aren’t sure whether or not they’re interested, some quick facts can be a great way to draw them in. If your financial numbers aren’t particularly interesting, focus on something else. Statistics like the number of employees from within the community or even how long the company has been in business can be interesting to members of the public.

Jeremy Sutter
Jeremy Sutter is a freelance writer and former mobile marketing manager at Adobe.


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