As the Managing Director of one of Europe’s top PR agencies for the energy industry, Alastair Turner is responsible for creating buzz, managing crises and building brands. He talks to PES about all the essential issues and offers some indispensable advice for wind executives everywhere.
PES: Welcome to PES magazine. Can you explain a little about your company, and how you serve the renewables industry?
Alastair Turner: Aspectus is renowned as one of the top PR agencies specialising in the energy sector. We understand the issues, we know the media, and we produce results.
PES: What kind of coverage are your clients looking for, and what messages are they trying to get across?
AT: Many clients have very specific, quite complex and sometimes overly technical messages they wish to convey. Part of our job is to simplify, rationalise and refine these to create compelling stories that engage with the audience. We like to think of it as building a bridge between what the media and their audience wants, and what our clients are trying to communicate.
For example, RLtec approached us to help PR its dynamic demand technology, which allows fridges, freezers and other consumer appliances to be switched-off temporarily when demand on the national grid peaks. This was a complex issue to tackle, but one where we successfully broke the ice with our ‘Fridges of the World Unite’ campaign.
Incorporating a series of articles, interviews and bulletins, supported by research, independent commentators and facts & stats, the campaign generated interest from the national broadsheets, including the Financial Times, and coverage across the full range of vertical media. It also ensured recognition for RLtec among its target audience of national grid operators, energy suppliers, retail chains, and white goods manufacturers, as well as supporting its negotiations with partners and government bodies.
With another client, specialist energy consultancy Redpoint, we faced a considerable challenge in the highly confidential nature of their work. How do you generate good PR if you cannot reference clients? Our solution was to develop a series of by-lined articles on high-level issues of interest to the national and top-tier trade press, and for which coverage could be secured on the back of breaking news stories.