Last year I wrote a very last minute guide to PR for attendees at Solar Power International for the firms that want to maximize their exposure at the solar industry’s major trade shows but haven’t given much thought to how. That list is certainly relevant and those tips remain relevant this year. Are you thinking about how to gain some notice and media love for your brand at Intersolar North America, July 10-12, one of the two major solar trade shows in the U.S. every year?
Well, I have some good news and bad news.
The bad news: Intersolar is only about a week away. The good news? Intersolar is still a week away!
While Intersolar and Solar Power International share some similarities (apologies to the organizers who I doubt feel the same), there are differences between the two that require modification to your media and marketing strategies. Below are three tips to help you pull together some last minute buzz for your brand.
Three tips for the cutting through the noise and getting some brand love at Intersolar 2018
1: Use home field advantage
Unlike Solar Power International, which relocates to new cities in most years, Intersolar North America is always in the U.S. solar industry’s epicenter – San Francisco, California.
The City by the Bay’s status as the hub for solar energy in the U.S. means there are many ways you can add value for reporters. Do you have corporate offices in the Bay Area? Offer executives for in-person interviews. Better yet, identify a compelling human interest story with one of your local employees.
There are other ways you can take advantage of home field. Perhaps you have new, innovative projects within a stone’s throw of the Moscone Center. Give reporters a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the expo hall and show them your technology in the field. Are you Elon Musk? If so, call me. And also give reporters a tour of your local manufacturing operation.
2: Keep an eye on the periphery
Not only is the Bay Area the backyard for many of the companies at the expo, it is also home to many of the reporters attending the event. Bloomberg, Greentech Media, Green Biz and many more: all of them have reporters based in the Bay.
This means that there may be additional opportunities to interact with reporters before and after Intersolar at non-affiliated events. Shameless plug warning: Antenna Group is, in fact, hosting one such event on Monday, July 9 – the day before Intersolar. My colleague, Josh Garrett, will be interviewing a panel of reporters for their perspectives on renewable and cleantech trends. Joining us will be Mark Chediak of Bloomberg, David Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle, and Emma Foehringer Merchant with Greentech Media. It is a great opportunity to learn what these reporters are seeing in the market and how they are approaching coverage. Seating is limited, so register today.
3: Keep your eyes on the prize
Earned media coverage is an important tool in the marketer’s arsenal and it is important to keep in mind the value that it creates. Conversations with reporters won’t always result in media coverage. Think of these interactions as you would your conversations with your customers. It requires nurturing and trust.
If your Intersolar discussion with a reporter does not result in an article about your company, don’t fall into the trap of thinking it was unsuccessful. If you provided valuable information and context to the reporter, she will remember it, increasing the likelihood that you will be called upon down the road as an expert in your market category. These conversations will also improve the chances that your future press releases will ring a bell and prompt a reporter to recall your conversation and write an article based on that recollection. Media relations and PR, like sales, are very much about growing relationships and providing mutual benefit.