Resonates developed a plan of action with a clear focus on results. Its execution was on point, and the team’s creative input and origination of material was also impressive. Our online and trade press coverage has improved dramatically, leading to an increase in sales enquiries and greater brand recognition.
Marina Hod, director of market development, KiWi Power

Communicating the bigger picture of demand response

Method: Public relations: news releases, contributed feature articles, case studies, media/analyst relations, social media.

Results: Significant increase in media coverage and share of voice, upturn in sales enquiries and improved brand recognition as a leader in the UK demand response market.

The client 

Founded in 2009, KiWi Power is a leading UK-based aggregator of demand-side response and smart grid services. From its operations centre in central London, it manages a portfolio of clients across a range of commercial and industrial sectors. These include NHS Trusts, retail, hotels, logistics and distribution, airports, MoD and mining.

During times of peak energy demand, National Grid will call upon aggregators, such as KiWi Power, to help balance grid energy. Demand response involves end users making minor adjustments to non-essential services, such as lighting and air-handling equipment. Or, the temporary use of emergency standby power facilities, such as diesel generators, are used to help reduce grid stress.

Through demand-side response measures, KiWi power offers a way for the UK’s electricity grid to be managed in a cleaner and smarter way.

Their needs 

Although already well established in North America for over ten years, demand response is a relatively new service in the UK, with just one or two competitors dominating the market.

KiWi Power recognised the growth potential in this area and the opportunity to increase its market share.

Four overall aims for the PR campaign were identified:

  • To communicate the ‘bigger picture’ about demand response, smart grid technology and energy efficiency.
  • Increase KiWi Power’s share of voice in the media and drive traffic to its website.
  • To simplify the benefits of demand response and communicate these to a wider audience.
  • To grow the business by shortening sales cycles and increasing new business opportunities.
What we did 

Following a comprehensive marketing audit and SWOT analysis, we developed a tactical PR plan to raise the profile of KiWi Power with analysts, key trade press, bloggers and online publications.

Media alerts offering commentary and explaining KiWi Power’s experience in the energy sector were issued to energy, environmental and industrial editors working for the national press.

We researched, wrote and placed news releases, feature articles and customer case studies with media titles in order to build KiWi Power’s profile with key influencers. 

We built relationships with industry analysts writing about smart grid and demand response technology, and arranged interview opportunities.  

We also developed a social media programme, including blogging, Facebook and Twitter to maximise SEO and increase web traffic.

The results 

Overall awareness of the KiWi Power brand and its position in the UK demand response market increased through extensive media coverage, analyst briefings and a targeted social media programme. Some of the results are as follows:

  • Broadcast coverage with BBC Radio 4 'PM' and BBC 1 'Bang goes the Theory'
  • National press coverage with BBC News Online, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Times and The Economist
  • Exceeded media coverage KPIs for each quarter with key messages regarding energy savings, lower carbon footprint and risk-free revenue clearly communicated
  • Placement of NHS hospital, water utility and hospitality case studies in over 20 different trade press publications including: Healthcare design & Management, Health Business, Public Sector Sustainability, Water energy & environment, Waste & Wastewater Treatment, WET News, Water Active, Water & Sewerage Journal, Green Hotelier,, Hotel Business and Food Chain
  • Regular feature articles in key industry titles including: BusinessGreen, Energy Live News, Energy World, Government & Public Sector Journal, Hospital Management, Future Power Technology, Energy in Buildings & Industry, and Critical Power
  • Development and distribution of regular news releases to individual target audiences
  • Interviews with energy analysts from IDC and Pike Research. Inclusion in Pike Research’s Global Market Analysis and Forecast report for Demand Response in Commercial Buildings
  • 4x increase in Twitter followers over 9 months
  • Monthly blog posts with over 1,300 views and increase in web traffic
  • Regular coverage in US media including Greentech Media and Smart Grid Today

Marina Hod, director of market development, KiWi Power was extremely pleased with the results and commented: “Resonates developed a plan of action with a clear focus on results. The team was quick to develop a thorough understanding of our business and was able to translate technical jargon into clear and understandable language. Our online and trade press coverage has improved dramatically, leading to an increase in sales enquiries and greater brand recognition.”

Our view 

The challenge was to position KiWi Power as an industry leader and voice of authority in the demand response market. A handful of competitors dominated the UK sector and had active marketing communication programmes. A tactical PR campaign with press office function helped raise awareness of KiWi Power, established relationships with key media influencers and effectively communicated the benefits of demand response across different targeted industry sectors.