RHI – How to communicate the benefits

Babak Daemi, managing director of Everlasting Marketing & PR Ltd tells Renewable Energy Installer why PR will play a big part in shaping the renewable heating industry for the foreseeable future.

Now that DECC has finally given us the news we wanted regarding domestic RHI, we the industry have a great opportunity to promote our products and services. However, as we have seen before with renewable incentives, the outgoing communication from the industry to the end-user can be confusing. Especially in the early stages when consumers are being introduced to the different technologies, companies and the incentives and, in this case, the RHI.

There are two main reasons the message can be confusing. One, because the potential reader often has no prior knowledge of the product or its benefits and is not really interested in the complete ins and outs of the policy. This means the message needs to be both informative and simple. It is important to remember this when writing a press release or any marketing copy for that matter. The second is the message can often be too busy.

Marketing communications, especially press releases, can be overcrowded with the ‘USPs of the company’. A company has won three awards, has the best products available, has four new vans and is MCS accredited so the customer can get RHI. Of course these messages all have their value, and will add credibility to the business. The problem is, if you try to communicate it all at once, the customer will become disengaged and stop reading. 

It is also important to stay factual and be careful not make false claims. Solar PV went from an unknown quantity to a much desired product very, very quickly. And although it is unlikely to be exactly the same for the renewable heating sector, there is a chance that companies will be looking to take advantage of RHI and the potential customers it will bring. What no-one in the industry wants is a bad reputation to undo all the hard work that has gone in to setting up RHI.

The power of PR cannot be underestimated; a good press release will cut through the noise caused by advertising and generate higher quality leads. However, this is not to say it is a stand-alone tactic. Research suggests that lead-generation tactics are more powerful when PR is used to supplement them, according to Chris Fill, leading marketing commentator.

Everlasting Marketing & PR has worked in the renewable sector for four years. Having worked with some very high profile brands and personalities, Everlasting set up in January 2013 and now works with a number of leading renewable companies. For a free assessment or marketing clinic visit the Everlasting Marketing and PR website.