InnoEnergy Central Europe – communication advisory and project PR
InnoEnergy is a fund set up by the European Institute of Technology and Innovation, which through knowledge, financing and the network of contacts supports start-ups entering international markets. The main field of cooperation with our agency in 2017 and 2018 was the international communication and promotion of the PowerUp! project and support of the image boosting activities of the company.
- building up of the InnoEnergy image as a reliable business partner
- reaching the cleantech solutions creators with the information about the PowerUp!
- project strengthening awareness of the PowerUp! project among key players on the energy market
- increasing the media discourse (also in the opinion-forming media) on the wide subject of the PowerUp!
- project supporting communication of the project in 15 countries of various geopolitical and business conditions
- coordination of dozens of Polish and foreign entities implementing PR activities
1) Communication for the PowerUp!
Project PowerUp! project is an advanced competition for start-ups that aims at finding and supporting the best innovations from the cleantech, energy, smart city and electromobility sectors in 24 countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The participant, qualified on the basis of submitted applications took part in more than a dozen of national finals. The winners of the national finals competed in the Grand Finale for awards worth 45 thousand euro in cash and up to 150 thousand euro in investments as part of the prestigious accelerator EIT InnoEnergy: Highway®.
The market of start-ups is relatively young and innovators that reach the accelerators through various competitions not always can count on wide support, especially the non- financial one. Additionally, competitions and accelerators are under the umbrella of a particular brand, guaranteeing support of just one big partner. Thus in the communication activities we stressed what an opportunity is the PowerUp! competition for its participants due to the scale of InnoEnergy activities (more than 40 countries), its unique network of partners (more than 300 business and academic partners) as well as the fact that during just seven years InnoEnergy invested in project worth 2 billion euro making it possible for 80 products to enter the market.
As part of our communication efforts we also talked about InnoEnergy’s help in building the business model, as because of the specifics in the fields covered by the project the start- uppers were often people with quite an experience in their fields, often researchers working at universities, but with scarce knowledge of typical business attitude. PowerUp! was addressed not only to mobile apps creators (which often identified with the start-up term itself) but also to hardware solutions developers. Thus, in the media relations activities we concentrated on the media from energy, technology and business sectors (not excluding those concerning start-ups themselves).
Promoting the PowerUp! competition we identified two most important target groups – start-ups and big industry and corporations from the energy sector. Because of the diversity of start-uppers we also developed communication personas.
After analysing the data and the communication needs we came to the conclusion that Facebook as the main source of routing will remain the leading communication channel. Almost equally important was Twitter because of ongoing branch discussions and LinkedIn, very actively used by start-uppers. We put emphasis on media relations, including business, start-up, technology, energy and industry media. Very important was the expert content published on a blog and a trendbook that we created in cooperation with an expert on the basis of, among the others, the database of the main analytical centres.
In the communication activities we used slogans such as:
- PowerUp! – competition for people who have energy to change the world!
- InnoEnergy – a reliable partner for both the big business and start-ups (a network of partners, investments worth more than 2 billon euro, 80 new products introduced to the market)
- PowerUp! competition is not just about financial awards. It stands out because of Bootcamps and the opportunity for all the participants to be invited to the prestigious Highway accelerator.
To achieve the communication integrity on all the markets the special advanced toolkit for HUBs (independent entities representing the competition organiser in a given county, that is accelerators, incubators and others) and foreign agencies was prepared at the veryb beginning, complemented with updated FAQs. It was meant to be used both during talks with journalists and in communication with competition participants.
Communication of the project itself was expanded to cover modern problems and key trends in the energy sector as well as cleantech, in order to become for journalists not only a source of information about the competition but a valuable partner. One of the effective solutions turned out to be the specially prepared trendbook mentioned before. The appropriate selection of experts, strong data support and attractive graphic layout made the prepared e-book both a source of knowledge and inspiration for journalists and an image boosting tool for InnoEnergy itself.
During the whole duration of the project we cared about the graphic integrity of all the materials. We designed and developed a website, presentations for partners, presentations for media patrons, as well as comprehensive layouts for the finals (bulletins, badges, roll- ups, animations, vouchers and others), newsletters, infographics, and all the materials published in the social media.
2) The annual report
Alongside the communication of PowerUp! we prepared for InnoEnergy also the annual report showing not only PowerUp! But also numerous other projects and initiatives the fund is engaged in. Interestingly prepared presentation was aimed at showing both the changes that took place in InnoEnergy Central Europe (until recently CC Poland Plus) last year, successes and also plans.
The report’s aim was to reassure the current partners in their decisions concerning cooperation, as well as to encourage new companies and organisations to take similar steps. The report consisted of not just corporate and financial data but included also case studies of implemented projects, quotes from partners and people from partnerships operating within the accelerator.
The report written in English (prepared in cooperation with our sister company, British agency Spreckley Partners) became the image boosting tool functioning both inside and outside the organisation.
Effects in the PowerUp! project
- integrated communication of the project on all the target markets;
- increased number of applications in the competition – from 158 in 2017 to 299 in 2018;
- increase in number of publications about the project by as much as 80% – according to the Media Monitoring Institute there were as many as 494 publications in Poland in 2018 (200% more than in 2017);
- 521 publications in other countries and several hundred references in social media;
- deepening the discussion in more than a dozen major business and opinion-making press (including Rzeczpospolita, Gazeta Wyborcza, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna and others);
- obtaining 29 media patrons (including 13 from Poland, among the others Business Insider, Nowy Przemysł, Magazyn Przemysłowy, INN Poland, Kierunek Energetyka);
- strengthening the competition’s importance inside InnoEnergy itself.