Gaining energy: disruptors must take a fresh approach

By Simon Moss, Associate Director & Head of Business Development

Technology is powering significant change across industries that were once seen as established pillars of society.

Financial services, healthcare and energy are just three that have experienced transformational change over the last decade or so. Naturally there are significant external factors such as industry regulation, macroeconomic trends or global initiatives, but it is technology, the data revolution and various offshoots that are enabling change.

Image credit: iStock

And what do all these industries have in common? There are an increasing number of disruptive firms willing to make things better and easier for consumers, breaking down and reimagining complex market problems at the same time.

The energy sector is a prime example of a once monopolised industry that is undergoing structural changes. Whether energy production, distribution, storage or usage, they are all highly important and often with high growth, with a shifting vendor landscape inevitably looking to grab their share and navigate the precarious and confusing political winds.

Related to various aspects of the energy market comes the numerous dependencies and links that it has with a more sustainable Built Environment industry. Whether as a result of initiatives like BIM Level 2, the heart-breaking disaster at Grenfell Tower or the enhancements to the places we live and work to ensure we can better withstand floods as our climate changes, both industries are now full of companies with a common mentality.

Unseating incumbents, unsettling the establishment, empowering change; it’s now par for the course for the disruptors and makes for great PR as part of an integrated marketing mix.

If there is one thing we understand, it is how to take firms that are catalysts for change in their markets and tell their story to the world so their users can experience what ‘better‘ is. Whether it’s Glasswall Solutions in the sphere of cyber security or Fraedom in Fintech, we understand the demands of innovative, agile firms and what PR can and should achieve for them.

We find these types of fast-growth organisations understand that beating the competition will never be achieved by doing things the same old way. This in turn requires a new way of looking at communications.

Signing up to a monthly retainer and buying hours on a timesheet, simply won’t move the needle for these disruptive firms, and this applies to the energy and built environment industries now more than ever. Understanding these markets is vital for their agencies, but at the same time, it’s in the agency’s interest to burn through those hours “straaaategising”, then asking for more money when it comes to actually deliver something of value.

Fast-growth firms need context, action, a clear strategy and defined goals.

We are deliberately different, having ditched retainers long ago, we build bespoke campaigns consisting of specific deliverables, all up front and agreed at the outset. Against this activity, we agree strict performance commitments to judge success against – and underpin them by a formal Service Level Agreement offering a pro-rata fee rebate if we fail to hit these targets. There’s more about this here.

Suddenly the barriers to success are removed. Firms have confidence in what they are receiving for their money, knowing that we are incentivised to deliver proactive and effective campaigns which bring about changes in perception and in life, or risk giving them money back!  Our client roster is packed with firms that have benefitted from our unique approach, including those in the built environment such as Kone, UK BIM Alliance and Autodesk.

Disruptive firms require disruptive PR and communications – and that is something we are can confidently offer.