Measuring Success: Quantifying the Impact of Creative Thinking in Public Relations

Quantifying the impact of creative thinking in public relations is notoriously tricky. Creativity is a cornerstone of effective public relations strategies, weaving trending topics, brand MYTHOS, and media essentials into compelling narratives. It’s the engine driving your PR agency’s relationship, allowing professionals to develop connections and craft stories that surprise and captivate. But measuring creativity? Some would say impossible. But we’re not just creative storytellers, we love facts and figures. We can measure anything. Even the most inventive campaigns have metrics.

In this post, we dive into measuring the success of messaging work and creative storytelling in PR. Read on to learn more, and reach out to us to get started on telling your story.

Measuring the Success of Creative Messaging through Resonance

Working with Blue Practice means diving into “messaging sessions” in month one. Conversations with innovators and thought leaders on your team help us understand your business, challenges, and desired media perception. Armed with this info, we create taglines, messaging hierarchies, and positioning statements. But how can the success of a few statements be measured?

With resonance.

Once media coverage kicks in, we track how the media’s perception changes and whether our messages resonate. We did this work with veritree, working closely with their team to develop a unified language that defined their mission, and the media responded consistently. With the help of our unified positioning language and the high resonance of our messaging work, veritree was able to build trust with the media and build more awareness and credibility for their work.

Measuring the Success of Creative Storytelling

Success in creative storytelling can be measured even before the pitching process begins. Early measurements act as a litmus test, ensuring narratives are not just compelling but strategically aligned.

Starting the measurement process before pitching enables a proactive approach to refining and iterating on messaging during the pitching process.  Here are a few ways to measure success before pitching even begins:

Ways to Measure Success Even Before You Start Pitching

  • Team excitement sets the stage for a positive tone for the campaign. If you’re excited, the media is more likely to be as well.
  • Verifiable data points weaved seamlessly into the pitch is already a win. Data adds credibility and is practically a non-negotiable in today’s media landscape.
  • Novel angles on relevant topics offer a fresh perspective that can serve as a reason for a writer to publish a follow up to a recent story.
  • Context in the broader landscape provides depth and relevance.
  • Giving writers a reason to cover your story now ensures its timely impact.

When There Hasn’t Been Media Coverage Yet

Measuring success isn’t confined to headlines; it starts earlier. Preliminary indicators (listed below) can provide valuable insights into the potential success of your narrative, becoming crucial metrics that offer a proactive way to gauge the resonance of your story before it goes live. A few ways to measure success before stories are published:

  1. Response and Interest from Journalists
    In the pre-publication phase, gauging the response and interest from journalists is a good indicator of the narrative’s potential success. Positive responses indicate an alignment between the story and the media’s interests and signify its newsworthiness. If positive responses aren’t rolling in after some follow-up, it may be time to tweak the pitch, add additional context or data, or consider a different time peg. All of this information is key in building media coverage.
  2. Follow-Up Questions from Media
    An equally telling metric in the early stages is the nature of follow-up questions received from the media. Thoughtful inquiries indicate a deeper interest in your story and demonstrate a journalist’s intent to delve into the details. These questions are not just inquiries; they are hints that can lead to a deeper understanding of what aspects of your narrative resonate most. By paying attention to these questions, you can refine your storytelling strategy and address potential gaps, ensuring your narrative is not only captivating but also aligns well with the media’s interests.
  3. Stories Published Around the Same Topics
    Observe whether stories around similar topics are gaining traction in the media. This can indicate that there is a curious audience for content related to your news, validating its relevance and potential impact. Analyzing the media landscape for similar themes provides valuable context and positions your story within a broader conversation. It not only showcases a demand for the content you’re crafting but also indicates that the narrative aligns with current trends and interests, setting the stage for successful media outreach.

Measuring Once Coverage Rolls In

Once the media hits have started rolling in, it’s crucial to pinpoint and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) that illustrate the impact of the campaign. These metrics help paint a picture of the success of the campaign – from messaging resonance to the number of stories published about the company.

KPIs and Why They Matter:

  • Number of Stories Published:
    Beyond mere quantity, the number of stories published provides a gauge of the campaign’s reach and distribution. It signifies how widely the narrative has been embraced by the media, offering insights into its potential visibility and influence.
  • Type of Outlets that Covered the News:
    Distinguishing between industry-specific and mainstream outlets, as well as niche versus A-tier publications, informs strategic adjustments for future pitching efforts and helps us ensure alignment with the topics of coverage in target outlets.
  • Audience Resonance (Did We Reach the Intended Outlets?):
    Assessing whether the campaign reached our desired outlets offers valuable insights into the accuracy of messaging positioning statements and indicates whether they resonated as intended with the target audiences.
  • Impressions/Reach:
    While not a definitive measure of actual readership, impressions and reach provide an overview of the potential influence a publication holds. Understanding the levels of reach is crucial within the context of the campaign, guiding strategic decisions based on the perceived impact of different outlets.
  • Messaging Resonance (Were Our Positioning Statements Utilized?):
    Evaluating whether the stories positioned the company as intended is vital in gauging the success of the messaging strategy. This KPI offers a broader-scale perspective post-publication, allowing us to ascertain whether our positioning statements were effectively integrated into the media narrative.

In the world of public relations, success is a journey, with lots of opportunities for measuring success along the way. From crafting resonant messaging to measuring impact, the creative process is both art and science. Are you looking for help telling your story? Reach out to chat with us!

Cleantech Storytelling & The Harmony of Mythos

Companies in the mission-driven business of sustainability and climate solutions need great storytelling to cultivate the compelling “why” consumers should go along on their brand journey. While many focus on data and technology as the basis of their story, there’s an often-overlooked creative facet that’s equally critical—the mythos in storytelling.

Mythos was called out in Aristotle’s Poetics as the “arrangement of incidents” in a story. It’s the weaving of a narrative so that it resonates with your audience. According to Aristotle, it’s not enough to have a groundbreaking product or a revolutionary idea. The way you tell your story, or how you blend together its LOGOS (Logic) with ETHOS (Credibility) and PATHOS (Emotion), is the formula for composing a compelling story.

You might see these ingredients in the following examples:

Examples: Tesla, Patagonia, the Ocean Cleanup

  • LOGOS – Tesla favors how logical, efficient, high-performance approach can drive its brand story. Their approach to electric vehicles is about offering a smart alternative that can outperform traditional cars. This logical appeal resonates with consumers who value both sustainability and innovation.
  • ETHOS – Patagonia is a brand synonymous with environmental responsibility. Their commitment goes beyond products; it’s about a corporate ethos that champions sustainability. This credibility resonates with consumers who seek brands that align with their values.
  • PATHOS – The Ocean Cleanup taps into PATHOS, pulling at heartstrings with the visual and emotional impact of ocean pollution. Their mission connects emotionally, drawing support from those moved to protect our oceans.

The real magic happens when these elements blend into a cohesive MYTHOS. You do that by creating a narrative that’s not just logical or credible but also emotionally engaging.

The Mythos in IKEA’s work in sustainability

We can see the interplay of these three narrative ingredients in IKEA’s work in sustainability. LOGOS is evident in IKEA’s practical, affordable, and innovative designs, appealing to the logic of consumers seeking functionality and value. ETHOS shines through their extensive sustainability initiatives, like sourcing eco-friendly materials and aiming for 100% renewable energy use, establishing them as a credible leader in environmental stewardship.

However, it’s the PATHOS where IKEA’s mythos truly comes to life. They don’t just sell furniture; they sell the dream of a better, more sustainable everyday life. Their narrative is about creating a cozy, welcoming home that also cares for the planet. This emotional connection speaks to those who want to make eco-friendly choices without compromising on style or comfort.

IKEA’s story resonates because it’s not just about furniture; it’s about being part of a global movement towards sustainability, offering a sense of belonging and purpose to customers. This cohesive blend of logic, credibility, and emotional appeal positions IKEA as a brand that understands its audience’s desires for a sustainable, yet aesthetically pleasing, lifestyle.

Connecting to that emotion is about understanding the audience’s values, desires, and fears. It should be a story that people can see themselves in, a story that inspires and motivates.

It Matters How You Tell It

Companies navigating a landscape of innovation and sustainability shouldn’t look over the power of storytelling and the art of mythos. It’s not just about the technology or the data; it’s about how you weave these elements into a narrative that captures the imagination and inspires action. It’s not just about what you’re doing; it’s about how you tell your story. Get in touch with us to develop your mythos.

Strategic PR: A Valuable Companion to Science and Tech Innovation

Strategic PR for Science and Tech Innovators

In the belt-tightening world of tech and science startups, where every penny and minute count, securing traditional PR agencies often takes a backseat. Companies are becoming resourceful, opting for a mix-and-match approach to PR services like browsing a candy store – picking a press release here, a social media blast there, all while keeping a keen eye on the bottom line. This ad-hoc strategy is like running a gourmet kitchen using only a microwave. Sure, it’s cheaper and faster, and with all the new tools out there—AI that can almost read your mind, platforms that promise the PR equivalent of instant noodles—it feels like you’re getting the job done. But when you’re building something meant to last, something truly disruptive, you need more than just a quick fix.

The Need for Strategic PR in the Tech and Science Landscape

Many of these plug-and-play communications apps and dashboards present a false sense of empowerment, making companies believe they can automate significant portions of the PR process, from identifying market trends to generating content. This DIY ethos often undervalues the depth and coherence of a strategic PR partnership.

Real-Life Impacts

This approach overlooks the depth and cohesion that a strategic PR partnership can provide. The Picking and choosing services in this manner results in a patchwork of PR initiatives that may fall short in building a meaningful narrative that advances the company’s long-term vision.

Take for instance a biotech startup developing a novel means of gene editing plants for climate change. They’ve invested heavily in research and produced what they consider a groundbreaking report, complemented by a sleek explanatory video. Despite the intrinsic value of their work, they find the echo of their launch is muted. The content might be meticulously crafted, but it doesn’t quite stir the industry or captivate the intended audience. It wasn’t written with the audience in mind – or the currency of the narrative that’s been unfolding across their industry.

It’s a reminder that without a foundational strategy, even the most revolutionary ideas can struggle to find their footing. And it isn’t unique to one startup; it’s symptomatic of a larger pattern within the innovation ecosystem. Undervaluing strategic PR is a big misstep for companies at the forefront of technological and scientific breakthroughs.

The Role and Value of Strategic PR for Science and Tech Innovators

Strategic PR isn’t just an add-on for for science and tech innovators  but a fundamental precursor that shapes how innovations are perceived in the market. As companies approach pivotal moments like commercialization or strategic alliances, the guidance of a PR agency isn’t a luxury but an absolute necessity.

Strategic PR’s Market Positioning and Narrative Impact

Strategic PR is more than media engagement and press releases. It’s an art form that can position a brand, shape its narrative, and set solutions apart from the chorus of “next big things.” Strategic PR is crucial for anticipating the market’s pulse and integrating a company’s offerings within industry narratives. It’s a discipline that probes deeper, asking pivotal questions: Who needs to hear our story? What change do we seek to inspire? How do our initiatives dovetail with our overarching mission? Engaging with a PR team from the inception ensures that every piece of communication is intentional and impactful.

Understanding public perceptions and leveraging them to enrich a brand’s participation in industry conversations is the cornerstone of a successful PR strategy for science and tech innovators.

In the realm of science and technology, where every innovator is vying to be the disruptor, a nuanced PR strategy can set a company apart now and years down the road. It’s not merely about capturing attention; it’s about holding it, nurturing it, and directing it towards a narrative that not only informs but engages and inspires.

For science and technology startups, the role of PR is not auxiliary; it’s fundamental. It’s not an afterthought to the innovation process; it’s a precursor that shapes the public and market’s reception of that innovation. As these companies approach pivotal moments—be it commercialization, funding rounds, or strategic alliances—the foresight of a PR strategist is not a luxury; it’s a necessity.

Strategic PR for the Long Haul

The value of strategic PR lies in its ability to anticipate the market’s pulse and weave a company’s offerings into the fabric of industry narratives. It’s about understanding the nuances of public perception and leveraging them to build a brand that not only enters the conversation but also enriches it.

For the innovators and disruptors working on cutting solutions, remember: strategic PR is not a service to be commissioned in isolation. It’s a partnership that should be nurtured from the very beginning, one that evolves with your company and amplifies your impact.

As these companies chart their course through uncharted territories, the guidance of a strategic PR partner is the compass that ensures their innovations don’t just launch—they soar.

Carbon Removal Reinvented: Insights from Carbonfuture’s Success Story

When Carbonfuture approached us, they were poised to expand beyond their central and historic focus in the European market. They were building a marketplace for carbon credits and were keen on reframing their offering to bridge the gap between niche publications, knowledgeable about the intricacies of the voluntary carbon market, and larger global publications whose coverage had been more high-level.

The Task

Our task was to provide insights and strategic recommendations for the next phase of their media relations through a thorough media landscape analysis. We delved deep into preparing insight and analysis of their complete competitive space and the attention they had received to date. By analyzing previous coverage of Carbonfuture, their competitors and the way the media had covered the space to date, we were able to help Carbonfuture understand how companies in their space had defined their share of voice, the impact of press releases, and other announcements, and what the recurrent themes were in how they were perceived in the media.

Through our deep understanding of the conversations in the media, we were able to make data-based strategic recommendations that would align with the media’s interest and set them apart as thought leaders and experts in carbon removal.


Our analysis revealed widespread criticism of the carbon market’s status quo, due to a history of bold and unsubstantiated claims in the carbon space. This highlighted the need to develop story narratives and corporate positioning that led with data and built trust through impact data and the inclusion of credible and impartial voices, such as NGOs and academics, to enhance trust and credibility.

By sharing impact data and case studies with media that demonstrated the effectiveness of carbon removal through biochar, we were able to support Carbonfuture’s mission of building trust in carbon removal, bringing new understanding to the potential of carbon removal. 

Based on our thorough research and understanding, we were able to make impactful recommendations to Carbonfuture on how to reframe their business and the opportunity they presented in bringing further legitimacy into carbon removal. We emphasized the need for collaboration with credible entities and the importance of showcasing successful case studies to build trust and understanding in the evolving carbon market.Thanks to our research, analysis, and strategic recommendations, Carbonfuture was able to construct the next evolution in their corporate communications, and earn interest and coverage in a-tier and industry publications such as the Wall Street Journal,  Carbon Pulse, Carbon Herald, and more. We were able to steer the company’s strategy forward in a new direction, enabling them to effectively communicate their commitment to immediate and confident climate action and their rigorous, data-driven approach to ensuring unmatched quality and reliability of carbon removal.

AI +  PR: How Chatbots are Changing Communications

close up shot of a human hand and a holograph

The bots are finally taking over, as ChatGPT, Jasper, Bard and other AI tools are revolutionizing the way we communicate and connect. And the PR industry is no exception. In fact, still in the early days of the technology, we’re finding that the pairing of AI + PR presents an exciting opportunity for us to amplify messages, engage with stakeholders, and drive positive impact in entirely new ways. 

Especially as a boutique firm, AI-powered tools and technologies are enhancing Blue Practice’s capabilities, giving us an expanded ability to service our clients, and empowering us to make data-driven decisions, identify relevant trends, and create more personalized and impactful campaigns. 

Audience Targeting

One of the key advantages of AI in PR is precision targeting and personalization. We’re now finding ways to leverage AI algorithms to identify and engage with the most relevant and receptive audiences for the stories we’re pitching. Through AI-driven audience segmentation, we can analyze hundreds of channels at once, optimize our outreach, and craft targeted messages that resonate with specific outlets and groups, leading to higher conversion rates. Combined with our personalized content and tailored outreach, the support of AI allows us inroads into a deeper connection with stakeholders, driving our clients’ expertise and advocacy.

Optimizing Media Outreach

A spate of AI-powered PR tools now embedded into PR media databases like Muckrack and Meltwater have also streamlined media outreach. AI algorithms can identify journalists, influencers, and media outlets most likely to cover the green initiatives, clean energy solutions, and sustainability projects we need to promote. With its ability to search through and analyze vast catalogs of past media coverage and journalist preferences, AI optimizes media pitch strategies, increasing the likelihood of positive press coverage and brand visibility.

Data-Driven Decision Making

We’re also finding AI-driven data analytics to be a game-changer in our work. Real-time data insights allow us to track the performance of campaigns, monitor sentiment around environmental initiatives, and measure the impact of sustainability communications efforts. Data-driven decision making empowers companies to continuously refine their communication strategies, ensuring maximum reach and engagement. For example, we can use real-time AI web tools to analyze social media posts, news articles, and blog posts to understand how our campaigns are being received, identify concerns, and adjust our strategies accordingly. 

Enhanced Issues Management

In times of crisis or in capitalizing on trending issues, AI-powered sentiment analysis can quickly gauge public attitudes on topics of interest, helping us respond promptly and insert ourselves appropriately. By understanding public perception and the existing narrative around given issues, we can better implement effective communication strategies, maintain trust, and mitigate reputational risks.

Content Creation

It would be an oversight not to acknowledge what most everyone’s using AI for: content creation. However, at the agency we approach this with caution. Delegating content creation entirely to AI chat engines can be a shortcut resulting in language that feels stilted and impersonal. Instead, we’re using AI as a springboard for our own content generation – to help overcome writer’s block and rapidly generate multiple iterations of a concept. We meticulously edit our AI-generated content, using it as a preliminary guide to shape our own uniquely human narratives.

As these AI tools become more ubiquitous, we’re finding a huge opportunity to leverage them for more effective and impactful communication. By harnessing the power of AI-driven insights, precision targeting, and data-driven decision making, we can amplify clients’ messages, build stronger connections with stakeholders, and drive positive change for a more sustainable world. Contact us to learn more.

The Power of Threads for B2B Cleantech Companies

threads by meta logo, string in the vague shape of an "at" sign, next to the word Threads

Threads, Meta’s innovative social media platform, has taken the digital world by storm, attracting 30 million users within seven hours of its launch. Dubbed as a potential “Twitter killer,” Threads offers real-time conversations and community-building features similar to Twitter. Cleantech companies operating in the B2B space are presented with both opportunities and challenges in leveraging this platform to enhance their communication and marketing strategies.

The opportunity

The biggest opportunity came with Threads’ integration with Instagram. The connection between the two gave Threads an international platform at launch, with presence in over 100 countries. This global reach made it attractive to any company looking to expand and connect with a diverse audience interested in compelling content about sustainability and clean energy solutions.

The Challenge

However, one potential challenge for B2B cleantech companies is the deviation from Twitter’s chronological feed, which may impact user retention for those accustomed to real-time updates. If a company heavily relies on Twitter for time-sensitive industry discussions and news updates, shifting to Threads with a non-chronological feed may disrupt their communication preferences and lead to a less favorable user experience. Additionally, Threads experienced a significant drop in engagement shortly after its launch. Although Meta plans to improve retention with additional features, the platform’s long-term viability remains uncertain. B2B cleantech companies looking for stable and consistent engagement with their audience may find Threads less appealing as a reliable communication channel.

Threads undoubtedly offers unique opportunities for companies to engage with a diverse global audience and build meaningful connections. However, the content that gains the most traction on Threads tends to be shorter and simpler than true thought leadership often requires.  Additionally, any company on the platform must carefully weigh the benefits against potential challenges, such as platform uncertainties and deviations from familiar communication formats. While Threads holds promise, it is crucial for cleantech companies to balance a platform’s offerings with their overall comms strategies, goals, and needs. For now, we find Threads best for connecting on an individual basis, listening to trending conversations among a diverse global audience, and until the platform matures, we encourage a diversified approach to B2B social media comms – specifically leveraging proven, established platforms like LinkedIn. 

Nimble Communications Strategies in the Wake of Unexpected Policy Changes

Family with little daughter standing in front of their house with solar panels on the roof, having electric car.

I received an email alert from a nonprofit last week about a seemingly flagrant play to kill – or at least maim –  the solar+storage industry in California. 

The Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB) here has proposed prohibiting licensed solar contractors from adding a battery to a solar system they already installed, or making repairs or modifications to an existing solar and storage system that they previously installed. The board has also proposed limiting the size of the battery that solar contractors can install. 

Why? Because they want licensed electricians to be able to do that work. This is a major disconnect and bad news for homeowners.

Most solar and battery systems are installed by licensed solar contractors rather than electricians. The solar contractor’s license is a specialty trade that has been around for over forty years in California. Licensed solar contractors train more extensively on battery installations than licensed electricians because it is such a core part of what they do.

Usually if a homeowner wants to add a battery to their existing solar system or make repairs or modifications to their existing battery, they have the original solar installer do the work — or they risk voiding their warranty.

Thus, these proposals put the consumer in an impossible situation, where state regulations would force them to hire someone else to do the work and void their warranty in the process.

In addition, these rules would eliminate thousands of existing local solar companies and workers from their own market, including very experienced battery installers. This would limit choices for consumers and drive up the cost of getting solar and/or a battery.

All signs point to the utilities being behind this move. For years, utilities like PGE have been lobbying CSLB to outright revoke the ability for licensed solar contractors to install batteries, and to have batteries be in the exclusive jurisdiction of licensed electricians only. Their likely objective is to use highly technical changes through a little-known government process to further hamper the rooftop solar and battery market.

We forwarded this to our client, a major solar panel manufacturer and battery provider, who then sent it on to their public affairs team for action. Political moves such as this force clients to deal with sudden changes, and communications strategies must be flexible in order to deal with impending positive or negative policy decisions. 

Here at Blue Practice we keep tabs on climate tech industry policy so that our clients can be informed. We then quickly discuss the best way to adjust our communications to respond to the policy, perhaps with prepared statements that we may send to the press about a particular issue, or perhaps with the development of an executive viewpoint piece that we will place in the trade or business press. 

Having an agency that keeps its ear to the ground to anticipate industry-changing policy can allow you to work together to craft an optimized strategy that addresses critical questions from your diverse audiences. Even if the policy change is unsuccessful you still will have been prepared. To find out more about how we can help you stay nimble, give us a shout.