| Understanding today's environmentally aware consumer

PR for Green Companies starting to pay off

PR for Green CompaniesIt’s our time. It’s the planet’s time. That’s the sense that 3rd Planet PR is getting every time we pick up a newspaper or catch a special report on the news. More and more green technology and environmental issues and stories are coming to the forefront.

Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a gradual shift in media mentality, from “Oh, those tree huggers are crazy. No one is going to buy a car that runs on electricity,” to “A green and clean story? You bet, my producer will definitely want to feature that!”

While the news is good, we can’t let up. As a public relations agency, it’s our primary role to land publicity for our sustainability-believing clients. But that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to try and push the envelope and continue to try and nudge the needle even more so in the favor of renewable beliefs.

Rather than be content to simply feed the media interesting angles on green companies, green products and services, and green innovation, we can always do more.

3rd Planet PR can do its part by working with more eco-friendly non-profit organizations and activists. We can try and spread the latest environment reports and theories. We can make an effort to involve green academia in the media conversation.

Over the next few weeks, in addition to focusing on our current and prospective clients, 3rd Planet PR will be reaching out to a select group of forward-thinking, environmentally-protecting entities, in the hopes of furthering their messages of urgency and responsibility. Who better to help save the planet than 3rd Planet?

Be sure to follow 3rd Planet on Facebook and Twitter.

PR and Media helping to change Green and Energy policy?

We’re moving the needle ever so slightly, we really are. Green and clean companies are making headway with consumers. Lawmakers are coming around with energy plans and grants. We can see renewable and sustainable initiatives popping up everywhere. But, how did we get to this new enlightened place? Surely, it wasn’t all about the lobbyists, was it?

As a professional green tech / clean tech public relations firm, we’d like to think that firms such as ours have played a role in the gradual shift to save the environment. We’re not saying that it’s been all about seeding stories with the media or coming up with earth-shaking ideas, but we do believe PR has played its part.

While we’re in the process of adding other success stories to our website, you needn’t look any further than the Junk Raft story that 3rd Planet PR helped to land on MSNBC a few years ago. It did wonders for the profile of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and made politicians and others think.

The power of media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, FOX and others CAN impact our environment indirectly, for the better. The old adage that one person can make a difference is so true. And in this case, it starts with a 3rd Planet PR associate pitching our clients to the world.  ^MR

3rd Planet PR offers summer support to startup green companies

Summer. It’s usually about fun in the sun. But in the case of those that are braving our economy to launch something new, it’s all about stretching every dollar.

In a makeshift home office near you, somewhere there’s a man or woman with a green start-up business, trying to gain traction and get that first big break. Generally, new small to medium sized companies believe that they simply don’t have the budget to engage effective public relations services.

That’s where we come in. To celebrate the appointment of Matthew Ross as our new president, we’re offering new green themed businesses a 30% discount in services this summer. From June 21 until September 20, startups that secure the services of 3rd Planet PR will receive a sizable rate reduction.

“Why not start the new era of 3rd Planet PR off with a bang? If we really believe in the green and clean way of life, we should be ready to support innovation, initiative and ideas. And that means supporting the new kids on the block as well,” explains Matthew Ross.

Don’t worry. There isn’t any sales-y, gimmick-y name to the special. We’re not calling it a summer blowout and not everything must go.

Simply put, we believe in the continual birth of anti-aging remedies for our planet. We want to put  good people with good green ideas on the map.

For more on 3rd Planet PR, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

The Presidential Address?

No private plane for 3rd Planet PR

Note: On June 3rd, 2011, Matthew Ross was named President of 3rd Planet PR, a division of Dime PR. Here is his 3rd Planet PR introductory blog entry.

The world renowned Hail to the Chief doesn’t play when I walk into a room, and I certainly don’t have any burly men in black suits protecting me. Yet, here I am, the new president of 3rd Planet PR. It’s a tremendous honor, but also an incredible opportunity.

Just as I state in my bio details, my background is in, well, everything! From Director of Communications to Journalist, from Media Strategist to Radio Host, I’ve been fortunate to experience a wide variety of industries, responsibilities and life lessons during my career.

In terms of my exposure to 3rd Planet, I learned about it from my esteemed colleague, parent agency DIME PR CEO Tim Williams. Point blank, to me, 3rd Planet PR represents the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s an agency well positioned to help lead the wave of green and clean consumerism and corporate responsibility for many years to come.

Every indication in today’s world points to being more eco-friendly, more energy-efficient and less consumptive. The government’s doling out grants and subsidies, world innovation in the green sector is at an all-time high and consumers are slowly changing their lifestyles. That’s where 3rd Planet comes in. Specializing in those that believe in the renewable, the cleaner and the lowering of all types of emissions, 3rd Planet PR’s job is to tell the world (through the media) all about the next big green thing.

So whether it’s a company specializing in recycled roofs, a business that can help produce electricity from our own backyards or a car that runs on vegetable oil, we’ll be there, helping to see these stories told.

Admittedly, I am not the most environmentally-active individual, but I’m learning and trying harder every day. That’s the thing about heading 3rd Planet; it’s making me a better person. Okay, maybe the last bit was a little over the top. But you get the idea. This is truly gratifying work in more ways than one.

So while there may not be any freshly paved  tennis court or government-paid private airplane rides in my near future as President of 3rd Planet PR, I am fine with it.

After all, how could anyone pave over nature’s landscape or condone such outlandish fuel consumption? See? I’m getting the hang of this thing already.

Branding, a Challenge for Cleantech Companies

Scientists and engineers have traditionally dominated the cleantech industry. However, because of a lack of resources, they have also been in charge of transforming an invention into a business concept and then commercializing it. This one of the reasons why many cleantech businesses have difficulties positioning their company as a brand and not just another new invention. Marketing and R&D are inherently different disciplines and although branding for cleantech might not be easy, it’s essential in a rapidly growing market focused on sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Amanda North and Porter Novelli (Agrion, Business Network for Energy, Cleantech and Sustainable Development http://tiny.cc/8sgqg) recently interviewed several marketing executives of leading solar companies and recorded some interesting notions about branding that might serve the cleantech industry as a whole.

The first important notion in these interviews with solar representatives was: It’s not one single industry! – most cleantech companies face this. Whether it’s lighting, wind, clean water, smart grid or any other cleantech industry, their market is segmented. Although vertical integration is on the rise, most companies provide a specific piece in a cleantech solution. Correct positioning of products and their specific benefits is therefore essential.

In a B2B environment, product reliability, company stability and company size (a sum of factors addressed as “bankability”) are seen as THE most important brand attributes. What might come as a surprise, B2B companies are beginning to consistently focus on a more general public in their communication strategies. Obviously, no matter the buyer of a product, having a brand with a positive appeal amongst the general public helps expand a business.

B2C companies, communicate the ease of use and installation, low upfront costs and reliability as the most important features of their brand. While cutting edge technology was the message in the past, the message has shifted to end-user benefits. And it’s not enough to refer to ecology only, cleantech solutions have to be economically viable.

The morale: Some companies offer turnkey solutions as a matter of simplicity instead of letting consumer do their homework in selecting, installing, maintaining and financing. Several residential solar companies, offering vertical integration are now very successful. Vertical integration is a brand enhancing condition; the solution comes from one company and not from a conglomerate.

Not only is the cleantech market segmented, but the audience is also continually being segmented. Buyers, investors, opinion-leaders (bloggers, journalists), certification-institutes, local and national governmental institutes, just to mention a few. They are reached through specific media and require tailored messages in order to be effective in branding. Cleantech companies need a consistent branding message tailored to their different target markets using the communication channels they consume.

As no surprise for the cleantech industry, social media channels are becoming more and more important in reaching out to different target markets. A personalized dialogue with specific target markets allows a company to respond more effectively to the needs of a specific audience. Social media channels provide this dialogue.

Cleantech companies have to take branding serious. There is solid evidence that the successful cleantech companies of tomorrow will later be analyzed as the ones that excelled in branding.