Breaking the Mold: Unconventional Approaches to Climate Tech PR Campaigns

Sometimes it seems like certain topics don’t lend themselves to breaking the mold or unconventional approaches. Such was the case when I went to go hear a talk recently by Ronald Leopold, executive director of the Anne Frank House. You all probably know of Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl whose diary documents her family’s experience hiding in Amsterdam for 2 years during the Nazi occupation, and who ultimately died in a concentration camp at age 16.  Leopold’s challenge these days? Finding innovative ways to keep Anne’s memory and legacy of tolerance alive for Gen Z. How do you break through to a demographic with a shorter attention span and less generational knowledge? And how does this apply to climate tech?

Redefining a legacy in Gen Z terms

In the case of Anne Frank and the Gen Z demographic, Leopold and the board had to embrace how Gen Z is getting its information. While previously the organization used generational knowledge of Anne, along with books and education sessions in schools, Gen Z was the first group to grow up without a parent or grandparent alive during the war. The generational knowledge was no longer there. Moreover, it was the first generation to grow up with the internet and social media. 

The Anne Frank House had to come up with a plan based on the characteristics of Gen Z: they have always relied  on the internet, have shorter attention spans, are highly visual, they value diversity, and are more inclined to form unique identities. The nonprofit ultimately came up with a strategic plan that now complements its traditional approach, incorporating Tik Tok videos, highly visual social media posts, more focus on tolerance, equity, and inclusion, and even posts on Anne’s sexuality. The thinking is that if they can attract a young person’s attention through just one single facet, even if not part of the “typical” Anne Frank narrative, this might spur these highly identity-focused individuals to learn more.

Lessons from the Anne Frank House for Climate Tech

Climate tech is not unlike the Anne Frank campaign. The problem of climate change is a serious challenge, with our own survivability as the ultimate question and hoped-for ending. Yet we can’t descend into constant red alerts and alarmism to bring attention to solutions. What’s the best approach?

It may seem a stretch, but like the AFH challenge we must use PR and communications to reach existing audiences and future audiences to assure long-term interest and engagement. During a retreat I participated in some years ago, employees were encouraged to write down on post-it notes all ideas for the future of the company, to be stuck to a giant white board and later categorized. There were to be no sacred cows, every kind of suggestion was welcome. Some people proposed highly radical shifts in the core business mission, which turned into productive discussions.

We can do the same in our communications approaches to climate tech. No sacred cows. What about humor? What about empathy, what about anger? What news angle or  emotion should we appeal to for each of our key audiences? Some of you may have seen Apple’s Mother Nature ad with Octavia Spencer playing the title role, which received 36 thousand likes on Apple’s Youtube channel alone. Besides the direct likes, the ad spawned countless parodies – not always friendly, but that motivated viewers to go back and look at the original. Not a bad approach.

How we can deploy similar thinking for PR

In PR, can we achieve the same effect? Of course.  It’s not apples to apples, but in addition to standard PR tactics from news releases to speaking opportunities, we can stage creative events at conferences. We can set up and promote provocative panel discussions. We can write edgy or humorous executive viewpoints. We can film engaging behind-the-scenes videos that can create chemistry on social media. 

Reporters and editors are hungry for good content, so simply trying a new tool to break the mold isn’t going to help unless you provide a full context for them, and make it easier for them to connect the dots. Our mission in the PR community should be above all to add value – but we can do it in a creative way.

Here at Blue Practice, we have focused solely on positive climate and sustainability solutions for more than a decade, and we know what plays with each of our target audiences, from business and tech publications to energy verticals.  But on top of that we stay abreast of trends, and place a high priority on testing new approaches to break through the PR noise. We bring the benefits of those tests to our clients. We look forward to brainstorming what we can do with you. Feel free to reach out to us for a chat. We are happy to suggest ideas. 

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.

Is it possible to build credibility, visibility, and influence without sponsored content? Is earned media dead?

In an era where sponsored content seems to be everywhere, and influencers demand payment even for podcast appearances, it’s easy to assume that earned media is dead and has little-to-no place in your company’s marketing and public relations strategies. 

But when deployed strategically, earned media strategies can garner organic attention, trust, and credibility, which all help build a solid brand reputation that lasts. 

With the rise of influencers whose online persona is their business, shrinking newsrooms, and more “content” arms of reputable publications working directly with brands, it often feels like every incoming opportunity is one that requires you to pay cash up front. But earned media – specifically media interviews as part of a story and earned speaking opportunities – is still one of the best strategies a brand can use to build something enduring.

Why Earned Media Can Still Work

Earned media is about creating a reputation that withstands the test of time. It’s about becoming a trusted resource for the media, so they turn to you when your expertise is needed. It’s a slow-burning, long-term strategy that builds upon itself over time.

The Benefits of Earned Media Strategies

Let’s delve into why earned media remains a powerful tool for B2B businesses, especially those in the cleantech and sustainability sector, like us here at Blue Practice:

  1. Credibility and Trust: Earned media, such as positive reviews, mentions in reputable publications, and stories that position your brand as the leader in a trend, can enhance your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness. Third-party validation from trusted sources is often more persuasive than self-promotion.
  2. Increased Brand Visibility: Earned media can significantly increase your brand’s visibility among your target audience. When your brand is featured in industry publications, social media shares, or news outlets, it can reach a broader audience than your owned media efforts alone.
  3. Thought Leadership: Earned media opportunities allow your brand to establish itself as a thought leader in your industry. By providing expert insights, participating in interviews, or contributing guest articles, you can showcase your industry expertise.
  4. Reach Target Audiences: Earned media can help you reach specific target audiences that may be more receptive to your message. Media outlets and influencers often have well-defined niche audiences that align with your B2B brand’s objectives.
  5. SEO Benefits: Earned media coverage can improve your search engine optimization (SEO). High-quality backlinks from reputable sources can boost your website’s search rankings, making it easier for potential customers to find you online.
  6. Lead Generation: Positive earned media can drive leads and inquiries from interested prospects. When your brand is featured in the media, it can prompt potential customers to seek more information about your products or services.
  7. Competitive Advantage: Earning media coverage can give you a competitive advantage by differentiating your brand from competitors. It can also help you stay top-of-mind in a crowded B2B market.
  8. Long-Term Impact: Earned media has the potential to have a lasting impact. Unlike paid advertising that stops when the budget runs out, earned media mentions and content can continue to drive results over time.
  9. Amplification of Owned Media: Earned media can complement your owned media efforts, such as your blog or social media channels. When you share earned media coverage on your owned platforms, it can amplify the reach and impact of the content.
  10. Crisis Management: In times of crisis or reputation management challenges, earned media can be a valuable tool for addressing concerns, clarifying facts, and mitigating damage.
  11. Relationship Building: Engaging with journalists, industry influencers, and stakeholders to earn media coverage can also help you build valuable relationships that can lead to future opportunities and partnerships.

Earned media strategies have a lot to offer B2B brands, especially those focused on cleantech and sustainability, like Blue Practice. It’s a path to credibility, visibility, cost-effective marketing, and enduring influence. So, the next time you’re considering your PR and marketing strategy, don’t underestimate the power of earned media. It’s not dead; it’s thriving, and it’s ready to work for you.

Ready to unlock the potential of earned media for your B2B business? Reach out to Blue Practice today and discover what a cohesive, comprehensive earned media strategy can do for your company. Your journey towards building a lasting platform for your positive solution starts here.