The big debate
This issue’s roundtable is a PR special, to reflect the massive impact that the industry has had on boosting wind power’s reach and penetration in recent years. Certainly, there have been challenges along the way, but there have been many, many more successes.
We wanted to find out more about the pitfalls and benefits of Public Relations operations in today’s wind energy landscape.
Rebecca Woods, Head of Environment, Prova PR
Fiona Mcara, Senior Account Executive, BOTTLE PR
Chris Dace, MD, Resonates
Laura Iley, Account Director, Aspectus
PES: Welcome to the roundtable, would you like to tell us about your role and your client/s in the wind sector?
Rebecca Woods: I am Head Of Environment at Prova PR. I come from a background in environmental communications and have spent over a decade working with a mixture of environmental and renewables clients. At Prova, our clients play a consultative role in the wind energy arena.
Fiona Mcara: Hi, we work for Oxford-based BOTTLE PR an integrated communications agency, representing renewable energy company RES (Renewable Energy Systems). We’ve been working with them for over 10 years, supporting communications for on and offshore wind and solar, along with launching new technologies such as demand side management and energy storage.
Chris Dace: Thank you for inviting me to contribute. My name is Chris Dace, I am the MD of Resonates, we’re an integrated marketing communications consultancy and one of our specialist sectors is cleantech.
Our client, Entap, has 500 MW of wind assets under management and helps its customers to maximise their financial returns by optimising the performance of their wind farms. Its asset management services cover the operational, financial and commercial aspects of running a wind farm. It can also provide due diligence and project management for the construction of new assets.
Laura Iley: At Aspectus we work with a number of clients in Europe’s wind industry, specifically related to the innovation, development and supply of associated technologies. As an Account Director for Aspectus’ specialist energy practice, I lead a team that handles brand strategy, content development (both written and visual), and media and analyst relations on behalf of our clients. We also design, build and manage our clients’ websites and manage their online presence.
PES: Is wind energy an arena that your agency specialises in? Are you looking to expand your reach in the sector?
Rebecca Woods: We have a great deal of expertise in renewable energy and technology. If the opportunity arises, we would look to expand our reach within it. However, we need to bear in mind that it’s currently a very challenging time for wind energy following the recent subsidy cuts to onshore wind.
Fiona Mcara: We have a strong B2B offering here at BOTTLE and we know all the key media in this space; plus we have worked with RES for so long we’re very comfortable with this subject matter. We’re looking to expand our offering in this area as energy – renewable or fossil – is one of the most divisive subjects at the moment and its supply and demand is an issue that will be top of the news agenda for years to come.
Laura Iley: Aspectus specialises in four core sectors: energy, financial services, technology and engineering. Our energy practice covers the entire B2B energy spectrum including consultancy, energy trading, oil and gas, power and transmission, smart grid and renewables. Our energy team is based in London, Houston and Singapore – this global network means we can run successful campaigns in any region our clients need.
The energy practice is rapidly expanding and has doubled in size over the last 12 months – this is in part due to our growth and focus in the renewables space, where we work with biomass, geothermal, solar and wind energy clients.
Wind and renewables in general are areas in which we are rapidly growing our reach and expertise, and our aim is to continue to strengthen our renewable energy client portfolio over the next year. Wind energy has seen a lot of change over the last 12 months and has a critical role to play in supporting Europe’s renewables energy industry, so there is a real opportunity for specialist communications agencies like Aspectus.