Powering up: Important PR Tips for Energy Industry Innovators & Startups

By George Donnelly

A fast-moving energy sector requires smart, targeted PR

Investment in energy technology companies is surging, creating a powerful wave of innovative startups, all with the goal of harnessing clean energy sources to help stem the threat of climate change. While their technology may vary widely — some tap the sun, others the wind, and still others are making advances in transmitting or storing energy in batteries — these startups share one important business challenge: communicating and promoting the world-changing potential of their new technology. They need to grow their mindshare in a crowded, competitive space by engaging important stakeholders within their industry and the broader public.

In short, they need a PR strategy as compelling as the products they’re bringing to market. This is often difficult to do in fast-moving and fast-growing business environments with many competing priorities, which is why outside PR agencies are so often deployed to add depth to a campaign. Startups looking to execute an effective communication plan should consider the following PR ideas and strategies:

How effective PR strategies elevate energy startups

silhouette of wind turbines during sunset
Photo by Anna Jiménez Calaf on Unsplash

Thought Leadership

By offering insight into a dynamic industry like energy, startup executives can position themselves — and their company — as original thinkers and earn extra credibility with investors and industry insiders.

Events, both celebratory and policy-oriented

There’s no substitute for person-to-person interaction in building buzz among stakeholders. Events centered on an energy industry theme, a product launch, groundbreaking event or other important company milestone can bring together leaders from government, the renewable energy advocacy community, and investors.

Earned media

The trade and mainstream media alike are looking for interesting stories about the newest technologies in the sector. However, it’s likely they won’t find you — startups have to bring their stories and ideas to the media, ideally through an expert pitch. Here, relationships that public relations firms have cultivated can go a long way to landing a story in a desired publication.

Owned media

When visitors reach a startup’s website, they need to find an interesting, professional assortment of content that both informs readers and reflects the company’s brand. Press releases on milestones and new hires, as well as longer articles, such as case studies, are important in fortifying a startup’s momentum and value proposition.

Relationship marketing

It’s not always what you know but who you know that matters. However, expanding relationships in various sectors, including government, often through the help of communications and public affairs experts who have spent years growing their networks, can be a powerful and direct business-building strategy.

Social media

It’s not enough to be on all the platforms — there’s an art and science to using social media effectively as an informative voice that promotes one’s startup and the broader mission of clean energy. It’s also an effective platform for executives to exhibit thought leadership.

Find an agency with the experience and skill to do all of the above

Often these PR strategies work in concert with each other. The Castle Group recently combined many of these PR approaches to organize a high-profile event for an energy technology company, GE Vernova, that was celebrating the grand opening of their new headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A mix of expert event management, public affairs guidance, and stakeholder engagement made the event a success.

In a dynamic and competitive industry, energy startups need a firm like Castle with the range and deep experience in the energy industry to execute effective PR strategies to elevate their mission and brand. At Castle, we use a mix of strategic communications tools to leverage the brilliance and potential of your game-changing products and your understanding of the industry to create tangible business benefits.

The Castle Group, Senior Advisor, George Donnelly
Written By: George Donnelly


Outdoors of the Castle Group office