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6 Minute Read

Tailoring Your Media Relations Strategy for the Climate Tech Industry

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In 2023, U.S. startup investments fell by 30%. Though climate tech was not completely immune to the turbulent funding environment, the industry still emerged as a winner with a 38% increase in investments from 2022. The year ahead is paving the way for another record-breaking year for climate tech, thanks to U.S. and European policies, tax incentives, and consumer demand.

That said, while there are firms like Gigascale Capital and Voyager Ventures eager to invest, an emergence of climate tech startups has created a crowded market, making it a top priority for companies looking for funding to stand out. In an industry traditionally viewed as high-risk with long-term rewards, investors want to know the companies they’re investing in have linear and scalable solutions and are run by founders willing to adapt. No matter how great your solution is, the market demands a strategic and tailored approach to media relations for maximum impact. 

Understanding the Climate Tech Landscape

Before diving into tactics, it’s essential to understand the breadth of climate tech. These startups operate in a unique intersection of technology and sustainability. The complex nature of climate change makes it critical to understand the nuances of each sub-industry within ‘climate tech’. For example, an announcement for an EV charging solution will look very different than one for a carbon accounting startup. An EV charging solution may spotlight infrastructure scalability and its role in reducing carbon emissions directly, while a carbon accounting startup's funding announcement emphasizes broader implications for corporate sustainability and emissions reduction efforts. Messaging for the latter could highlight the significance of accurate carbon accounting, aligning with ESG investing trends and regulatory pressures. Although both startups operate within the broader climate tech landscape, their unique value propositions, target audiences, and market dynamics necessitate distinct strategies to effectively communicate their funding announcements and drive engagement from investors, stakeholders, and the public.

Recipe for Strong Media Relations 

Understanding Climate Change Reporters vs. Climate Tech Reporters

First, it’s important to differentiate between the two types of reporters covering climate — although both cover aspects of environmental sustainability, not all of them will cover industry disruptors offering solutions. Climate change reporters typically delve into climate change's science, policies, and societal impacts, covering topics such as extreme weather events, global warming trends, and policy developments like international agreements and governmental responses. On the other hand, climate tech reporters specialize in highlighting innovations aimed at mitigating climate change. They will cover topics like fund announcements, emerging trends in clean tech, and new product or feature announcements. 

Becoming an Industry Thought Leader  

As you gear up for your announcement, take the time to lay the groundwork for relationships with reporters in your space. To do this well, think of yourself as a resource for reporters. Keep a close pulse on the news and be ready to comment on it. For example, the SEC recently announced its climate disclosure rule — how do you anticipate it will affect companies? Be prepared to provide insight into what this means across the industry and how your company and technology can provide a solution. Whether you’re sharing these insights and/or helpful data points and examples with a reporter or sparking debates with fellow climate tech leaders on LinkedIn, ensure you’re part of the conversation. This approach allows you to build relationships with reporters and become a trusted voice in your industry. 

Highlighting the WHY: Scalability and Impactful Solutions

The scalability of your solution could be the defining factor for whether a reporter chooses to write about you. Highlighting the scalability of your solution demonstrates its viability for addressing large-scale environmental challenges, making it inherently newsworthy. Reporters want to write stories about innovative solutions and demonstrate progress in the fight against climate change — emphasizing scalability signals to them that your solution can make a meaningful difference on a global scale. Finally, don’t forget to highlight your differentiators from competitors in the market. The climate tech sector, like the EV market, for  example, is increasingly crowded. Pinpoint why your solution addresses problems in a new, more efficient, and more useful way.

Finding the Right Publication To Tell Your Story

When finding a target to tell your story, first get clear about what audiences you want to hear about your news.  A common mistake is focusing on the publication versus the right reporter — the audience you want to target with this news should inform the reporter and the publication you pitch to write your story. While having a global business publication tell your story is tempting, a veteran reporter at a trade publication can tell a more in-depth and compelling story that directly reaches your audience. Another thing to think about is what type of story you want. Business Insider, Forbes, or TechCrunch would be great targets if you want a longer, industry-focused piece. If you’re more focused on getting in front of readers investing in or innovating in climate tech, Axios Pro: Climate Deals could be a good fit - their smart brevity style conveys news efficiently and quickly gets your news in front of a hyper-focused climate tech audience. 

Additionally, understand how each publication writes about funding news and other announcements. Each top-tier publication has different requirements. Just because Bloomberg published a feature on another company in the same industry doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be interested in yours. Make sure your pitch speaks directly to why this story would best be told by them and how your company is different from competitors.

Climate Data is King

If there’s one thing climate tech reporters want to see, it's data showing proof of progress. Is your innovation propelling heat pump adoption in America? Has your solution helped companies adopt more sustainable measures than the same time last year? Is your solution providing companies with data on their climate impact or progress? If yes, then share that with reporters. Even better if you have a yearly trend report that showcases changes over time. Bonus points if that report is packaged in a media-friendly way whether that’s an infographic showing results or a well-designed report. 

In this rapidly evolving landscape of climate tech, effective media relations and a clear strategy will make all the difference. By crafting a tailored strategy, startups can elevate their visibility, credibility, and impact. No matter what the announcement is, creating a steady drumbeat of thought leadership opportunities, highlighting scalability, identifying the right person to tell your story, and leveraging data are all critical when creating your media relations strategy. 

Think your company is ready for media relations? Get in touch to see whether our climate tech team is the right fit for you!


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