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Cleantech Group Boosts Cache of
Research Services and Events
Cleantech Group, the leading global research and advisory firm focused on cleantech innovation, pioneered the clean technology category in 2002. Its growing international client base includes global corporations, investors, entrepreneurs, governments, and service providers. Cleantech Group helps its clients make critical business decisions by providing the latest market intelligence through subscription-based research, custom advisory services, and networking events. The company produces the premier Cleantech Forum and industry Focus events to create an opportunity for cleantech leaders around the world to convene and discuss the latest trends, updates and action plans to support cleantech market growth, investment and technology development.
“We’d not had a globally coordinated public relations initiative to date. Sterling was able to provide exactly what we were looking for: a hands-on agency with social media domain expertise and a network of equally dedicated and smart partner agencies worldwide.” – Dallas Kachan, managing director of Cleantech Group
Despite the fact that Cleantech Group is a pioneer in its field, it wasn’t getting the mindshare and recognition with the media it deserved. With the cleantech sector gaining momentum in spite of the economic recession, it became increasingly important for Cleantech Group to build on its brand and establish a strong and credible presence for its advisory services and Forum events, ensuring that the company was the first resource for influencers when they were looking for an expert perspective on market trends. Cleantech Group chose to partner with Sterling Communications to achieve these goals.
Sterling Communications recognized the importance of establishing a strong presence early on for Cleantech Group and helped implement a solid marketing and communications plan focused on building thought leadership, strengthening media relationships, and enhancing its social media presence in the cleantech community.
As part of its research services, Cleantech Group tracks worldwide venture capital cleantech investment on a quarterly basis in partnership with accounting firm Deloitte. Sterling helped Cleantech Group announce the strategic partnership with Deloitte to further strengthen the credibility of the data tracked and enhance the expert analysis provided. In addition, Sterling began organizing online press conferences on a quarterly basis to announce and review the results in more detail, and used social media to broadcast the news. To further strengthen mindshare with the media, Sterling scheduled several 1:1 phone briefings on the announcement days. By conducting this outreach on a consistent quarterly basis, Sterling has increased visibility of Cleantech Group’s research services within the clean technology community.
Cleantech Group also organizes the Cleantech Forum, a multi-day conference held several times a year in major cities across the world. At each of these Forum events, it is important for Cleantech Group to have in attendance key reporters covering the cleantech and investment market. Their attendance, and subsequent media coverage, substantiates to other attendees and sponsors the high caliber and industry prestige of the events, critical for attracting new sponsors and participants. It also provides Cleantech Group with an opportunity to build in-person relationships with global media.
With this in mind, Sterling organized a communications outreach plan to recruit Tier 1 business and trade cleantech press to the Cleantech Forum events. Sterling researched key local targets and devised a timeline of outreach: announcing the event and speaker highlights in a press release; sending weekly email invitations and reminders; conducting personal phone invitations on an ongoing basis; developing story themes utilizing speakers and key trends for timely pitching; promoting the events by using social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.; and organizing a press conference at the Forum highlighting Cleantech Group research.
The results for both the quarterly investment numbers and the Forum events are impressive. Sterling’s consecutive quarters of media outreach on the investment numbers have resulted in a dramatic increase of awareness. Sterling grew participation in the audio/online press conference from an initial eight media attendees in Q2 of 2009 to 31 attendees in 2010, achieving up to 58 unique pieces of coverage per quarter in top-tier business and cleantech publications such as Bloomberg.com, BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, CNET, Dow Jones Newswire, Earth2Tech, eWeek, Financial Times, Forbes, FORTUNE, The Guardian UK, MSNBC.com, New York Times, Reuters, San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, TechCrunch, TreeHugger, VentureBeat, Wall Street Journal and ZDNet.
During the 2010 Forum in San Francisco, Sterling recruited 60-plus reporters and bloggers from leading business and trade media outlets to participate, more than 20 of whom also attended the Cleantech Group press conference. There were film and radio crews from CBS Interactive, Essinova, KQED, Marketwatch and more, as well as local editors from leading print and online outlets such as CNBC.com, Earth2Tech, Fast Company, Financial Times, Greentech Media, Reuters, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, TIME, Wall Street Journal and Wired, resulting in 53 unique pieces of coverage.
Additional visibility for Cleantech Group came with the NASDAQ closing bell-ringing ceremony during the 2010 New York Forum. Such high-visibility events provide the cachet and credibility for which Cleantech Group strives to help further build its brand, while also driving sales leads. Media attendance at the NASDAQ event was also crucial for deepening relationships with New York media with whom San Francisco- and London-based Cleantech Group spokespersons don’t have regular face-to-face exposure.
Thanks to careful planning and consistent media outreach by Sterling Communications, the Cleantech Group Forums are now recognized among the premier, “must-attend” events for key influencers of the cleantech industry.