Creating successful renewable energy thought leadership articles
Why thought leadership?
At EC-PR, we support our clients’ communications programmes by generating quality thought leadership content as a primary source of quality media coverage. This means we can communicate our client’s messages and elevate their profile by associating them with the most pertinent topics on the media agenda. Creating our own content keeps competitors out of the picture and allows complete control over our own narrative. Right now, in the competitive renewables sector, regular editorial features often contain several companies with only fleeting mentions, which aren’t memorable for readers. A standalone 1500-word article which is authored by one company, is a valuable content asset.
How do you secure top tier placements?
In the energy sector, levels of clean energy media coverage have skyrocketed in the lead up to COP26, the UN climate change conference, which will take place in November. So, for PRs representing renewables campaigns and clients, getting your thought leadership articles placed in leading publications and ensuring they remain relevant and topical, are the two main challenges. Aligning with the COP26 agenda which outlines strategies to reach a global net zero 2050 target in the core areas of energy transition, clean road transport and protecting nature/restoring ecosystems – you need to be sure to focus on the hottest sub-topics.
Are you familiar with the renewable energy media landscape?
To prep for a successful article / series of articles, appreciating the B2B media landscape is vital. The mainstream green energy B2B media outlets, such as Business Green, Energy Voice, Envirotec, and Energy Digital all cover a broad spectrum of energy/environmental issues, including renewables. But a sharper focus on renewables is found within a raft of specialist titles which investors, developers, Government, academics, and influencers now utilise as key sources for consuming information. These cover specific sub-sectors of the renewable energy industry and include H2 View (hydrogen), Renewable Energy Magazine, Energy Storage News, Offshore Wind Journal, and Solar Power Portal. The specialist / generalist nature of the title dictates the level of audience understanding on your proposed topic. Getting familiar with these titles and their UK or international focus is important groundwork.
What are the hot topics in renewables?
By hooking into topics at the cutting edge of the Net Zero debate, you can enhance your reputation as an industry commentator – the hot topics in renewables include:
1 Green hydrogen
Green hydrogen is a popular topic for clean energy as it creates zero carbon and is a sub-sector of renewables which is likely to explode in the next few years. According to IRENA, there are already plans for at least 25 GW of electrolyser capacity for green hydrogen by 2026, globally. At least 20 countries have now announced hydrogen strategies and it is expected that significant growth in green hydrogen production will drive continued growth in renewables. This is part of the more concentrated investment into sustainable power and hydrogen sources (including blue hydrogen).
2 Offshore wind
The UK is the largest offshore wind market in Europe, both in terms of projects under construction and in pre-construction phases and many UK hubs are emerging – e.g., Wales and Scotland. The UK also has the largest offshore wind farm in the world, off the coast of Yorkshire.
3 Energy storage
Energy storage plays a central role in the transition to a sustainable energy landscape, to overcome the intermittent nature of solar and wind resources and provide power when there is no wind or sunshine. A battery energy storage solution offers new application flexibility and unlocks new business value across the energy value chain.
4 Hybrid renewables
A hybrid renewables power plant typically comprises more than one renewable generating plant, with or without energy storage using the same grid connection point. We are led to believe by market behaviour that hybrids will become the new normal for all renewable energy developers.
5 Corporate PPAs
Renewable installations were once driven by subsidies, then tenders, and there is now a surge in corporate power purchase agreement announcements across markets, supporting new capacity or adding several years to the life of existing assets.
What makes a strong renewable energy synopsis?
Creating a well-targeted synopsis or hook which will engage the publication’s audience is key to successfully placing an article with the magazine’s editor. This should consist of no more than two paragraphs, including suggested headline, a summary outline of the main discussion points, details about the author/business and perhaps some industry stats to back up your key points. Keep to a specific area of the sub-industry, stay relevant to current industry debate, and try and take the debate a step further with your business’ own insight and insider knowledge – the more controversial, the better. This will position you as a true expert and your industry views will be memorable and valued.
Checking your draft
Once you’ve produced a draft article that everyone is happy with – do a final check. Make sure you have kept to the word count agreed with the editor, and always re-read to ensure the article remains objective (i.e., non-promotional) throughout. And, the final touch – add a couple of strategically-placed backlinks to specific pages of your company website at the beginning and end of the article.
Would your organisation benefit from a renewables energy thought leadership campaign?
If you want to know more about a B2B thought leadership campaign for in the renewable energy sector, please get in touch .
If you’ve found this article valuable, and you want to learn more about thought leadership, download our PR guide for business leaders “How to Become a Thought Leader”; read how EC-PR helped ITPEnergised, a world leading energy and environment consultancy, develop a communication strategy and deliver B2B PR Campaign Planning; and print out this infographic: “10 Principles for a Successful B2B Thought Leadership Strategy”.
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