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USA: Tops and Flops in international PR

Today our series features Greg Carney, Energy Practice Director of Merritt Group (http://www.merrittgrp.com/index),GlobalCom PR Network’s partner agency in the USA – who gives us some insights into “Tops and Flops” in the US market.

 

 

PR Topics – Tops and Flops

Product news has gotten tougher to secure in the U.S. Market unless you are in consumer tech and you are breaking ground with your product.  Publications have decreased the real estate given to product coverage and more is being given to larger trends and issues. What can work well is presenting topic trends with the product pitch to be the most successful. For instance, doing a story about trends in international CSP markets, highlighting how your product answers some industry pain points, provides industry strategy and insight, leaving the reader (investor, prospect, potential employee, analyst, etc.) thinking your company is smart, long term, rather than just having a “marketing-backed” product. Also, this will hopefully position your “voice” most likely your company expert as an industry expert if the PR is done well.

How important is industry expertise in your daily PR work?

I rely on it, and I consider industry expertise to be energy industry pervasive, not just renewable markets or specific energy sources like solar or natural gas. Most of my clients see me as a consultant they can lean on for context in whatever part of their business. Being able to help a wind manufacturer understand how natural gas prices or smart grid politics will affect his business is vital in this interconnected energy environment. Knowing how to do PR is just not enough in today’s marketplace. Plus, the reporters who cover this space love to have PR professionals they can lean on for their next story, being able to have a dialog about multiple energy industries just gets you more entrenched in their world, which in turn provides your clients better access.

Are integrated international PR programs beneficial for your work?

It can depend on the campaign.  Most energy companies have a global tilt because everyone needs energy, however, because energy needs, local/national politics, and overall country energy mixes are so different, pulling together a beneficial integrated international PR strategy can have its challenges. Most campaigns that are beneficial can have similar story lines (product line) but are carried out very differently and sometimes with different focuses. Until, there is a more global energy policy or some compromise on global energy issues, I can only see similar markets or product lines features to work for integrated international PR programs.

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