Diesel fuel rebate not helping miners move to renewable energy; contracts evolving to squarely put responsibility of delivery onto the shoulders of energy providers; and 'green is the new black'
1. There are some seriously big renewable projects (especially wind/solar) coming on stream in Australia integrating with mining operations. Just last week Advanced Energy Resources announced a deal with GMA Garnet in WA.
2. Miners are talking openly, at industry conferences, about social impact and responsibly reducing carbon footprint. Being a good corporate citizen is now viewed by many in industry as offering value to shareholders, and something that will ultimately increase bottom lines.
3. On balance sheets, the diesel fuel rebate is not assisting Australian miners to justify investment in renewables, but they are doing it anyway.
4. Creativity and collaboration is essential in this industry as leading players seek to learn from the mistakes and experience of others. Speakers last week in Perth spoke openly about mistakes, disagreements and sought advice from eachother.
5. The global leaders in this space are seriously smart, as they have extremely complex engineering, logistical and corporate problems to solve. Intellectual capacity was well above average at this mining conference.
6. Funding for projects is coming from equity, banks, government (ARENA) and direct private investment. Some Australian miners, owned by overseas interests, are taking a long view, and investing heavily in renewables.
7. Some miners are planning to share renewable power set ups with local indigenous communities. This would be a game changer for many communities in northern Australia, when roads are under water during the wet season and diesel cant be trucked in. The miners are not announcing this yet, but they plan to share their power facilities in some cases.
8. Contracting Trends: One popular panel discussion talked about how miners want renewable suppliers to bring solutions in the tendering process. Tell us how you are going to solve our needs, the speaker said. Overall the message is clear, miners mine. Miners are looking for energy specialists to bring knowledge and the a plan for delivery to the table.
9. Some miners, generating/storing their own power, are planning to shut down operations when energy prices are high and sell back to the grid. They will make more money doing this than producing their own products.
10. 'Green is the new black,' says Phillip Mak, (Global Head of Resources, Energy and Northern Australia at National Australia Bank). He says way more renewable projects seeking funding, on visits to his office, than coal these days.
11. Australia is on the verge of a serious shift in energy supply. Atmosphere/buzz at the conference was electric. The atmosphere reminiscent of a Diggers & Dealers Conference in the 1990s, on the verge of a spike in the gold price.
12. No one talked about 'clean coal'.
By Cate Rocchi, CEO of Perth Media.
Cate visited the Energy and Mines Summit in Perth last week. Perth Media was an official sponsor of the event. She chaired a panel at the conference that discussed financing renewables. Perth Media's clients include VSUN Energy, Australian Vanadium, Bryah Resources and Veritas.
The Perth Media team are working on a new autumn campaign: 'Framing Your Story.' We frame the view (of target audiences) by writing and producing high-quality content for digital media campaigns. We highlight the best stories and tell those succinctly and expertly. Stand by for some great case studies. Multimedia campaigns - featuring twitter, facebook, instagram, linkedin and traditional PR - are structured into monthly content production calendars.
In this era of information overload, content is the king. But, content creation, however taxing it may be, is only half the work done. The rest of the work is promoting the content and ensuring it reaches the right audience.
The key to nailing content promotion is to do it efficiently – many companies struggle with content promotion not because they don’t spend time, but because they spend too much time on irrelevant and lackluster content. It is important to establish an objective – is it increased brand visibility, are you looking at lead generation and conversion or increasing blog traffic? It is also important to know who your target audience is and to make a decision whether the content be textual, visual (posters, infographics), audio (podcasts) or video.
1. Email. This might sound old school, but email is still a wonderful way of reaching your target audience. Sending links to the article or blog post through newsletters or notifications is straightforward. Remember, people who have signed up for subscription have done so to know more about the company and the resources it can offer. If this sounds too simple, there are a lot of ways through which you can spice up email marketing – drip marketing for one, is a great tool to send automated and tailored email alerts to your audience. Through drip, you can target each member in your audience specifically – including his/her name, what interests them most about your company and relevant content based on which page they have spent most time on. Email is also a simple tool to cross-promote your social media pages.
2. Social media. The next and the obvious platform to promote your content is social media. Depending on the objective, content can be shared either on (or all) of these – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat, SoundCloud, etc. While all content can go into all these platforms, a social media strategy on what to post where will add more value – For e.g., videos work great in Facebook and SnapChat, podcasts in Soundcloud, professional posts and infographics in LinkedIn, images and posters mainly across twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
The timing of the posts is also very crucial. Analytics will tell you what part of your audience is active on each channel and at what time. Posting relevant content at the right time will increase views and audience engagement. If it is overwhelming to handle so many social channels, there are social media tools like Hootsuite, Buffer that help bring all of the channels in one place. You can also use these tools to post curated content at pre-defined time.
3. Increase SEO through backlinks. While the content you have created may be interesting, backlinks to the relevant page in your website or other pages increases traffic and search engine rankings. A very simple way to create backlinks is to ask your team to share the link to the content on their social media pages. SEO improves when content is shared multiple times – this is recorded by search engines which will give your content a better ranking.
4. Influencer outreach. Identify your influencers – influencers can be media, bloggers or top-level professionals in your industry and/or sources whom you have used or mentioned in your content. Reach out to these influencers and tell them about your new article or podcast and ask them to share it to their network. Content shared by influencers is seen not just as interesting but also trustworthy. Apart from getting more traffic, your brand’s credibility grows – third party endorsement is invaluable for a brand or product.
5. Syndicate content. When done right, content syndication can genuinely boost revenue. You can use sites like Medium, StumbleUpon, Scoop.It to post your content. Through this, you can reach out to a wider audience. This will increase authority and credibility. Apart from these, content can also be posted in LinkedIn. It is usually not recommended to re-post the article on multiple sites as it can pull down your Google ranking, but you can post excerpts in these sites and provide a link to the content page on your website to read the entire article.
For content to reign king, it is imperative for it to be shareable, relatable and understandable. Simple but impactful content can do wonders to the brand and product sales. Hitting ‘Publish’ is only the beginning – promoting the right content at the best time is crucial for success.
- Prepare pictures. Hire a photographer to take some great shots of your products and/or you. If you are lucky enough to get your story in a magazine, digital news service, online trade journal, company newsletter or website, TV program or newspaper, don’t expect there are time or funds for a staff photographer to come to you. Or, if they do come, they may not take the photo at your best angle! And ladies, please put some makeup on. Now for the chaps, sort out what colour shirt suits you best. We can’t all be rock stars but if you are on the tele promoting your company or ideas, then you should look your best. These are tricks musicians and actors have used for years, but they apply to anyone.
- Prepare your story. Engage a professional writer to produce a short narrative on your story and that of your business or organisation. Journalists can then scan relevant information and check facts easily. This helps to communicate all the good things, before a meeting is even scheduled. It is my specialty and saves both reporters, and those wanting to engage with them, a lot of time and hassle. Go to www.perthmedia.com.au for details on how to produce a first-class Business Press Pack. It is a bit captain obvious but don’t write it yourself unless you have excellent grammar and copywriting skills. Most don’t and, as a working journalist, I have seen some terrible attempts at press packs over the years. This includes some absolute nonsense from high-profile, expensive PR firms, both in Australia and the UK. And no you can’t learn copywriting by doing an online course for a day. It is a highly-skilled profession that takes years to perfect.
- Be polite and approachable. Remember you are speaking to a journalist who is writing about your message and story and it will be published to a much wider audience. A small newspaper or online news site may only have several thousand readers, but you can’t meet thousands of people one-on-one. Be courteous at all times, however annoying or stupid the questions appear. Mostly journalists are doing you a favour, not the other way around. You want them to call back.
- Be cool. Don’t bombard reporters with too much information or pester them. They don’t want to hear your life whole story for a short news yarn. If you are too long winded, ego driven or overly friendly in a creepy way, the media will avoid contacting you. Be grateful for what you get. If there is a line wrong in an article, maybe you weren’t good at explaining a point or slurred your words so you were misunderstood. Relax, rise above the annoyance and don’t make a fuss.
- Good manners. Even if you are busy and speaking to a reporter is the last thing on your mind. Respond to media queries with good manners. “Hi, thanks for getting in touch. I am traveling right now, would you mind if I called you next week?” This is far better than ignoring requests. And remember young, inexperienced reporters could one day be well-known national presenters or producers.
Cate Rocchi has been a journalist for more than 20 years. She trained on The Kalgoorlie Miner, in Western Australia, and has been a reporter for Aspermont’s Australia’s Mining Monthly. She has worked for some of the world’s largest financial publishing houses including Incisive Media in London and Haymarket’s Asian Investor in Hong Kong. Cate has also been employed by Hedge Fund Intelligence’s Eurohedge and submitted articles to Playtimes in Hong Kong. Now she lives in Perth, Australia, and provides transparent public relations’ services and practical, high-level media training through her company, Perth Media. She has written speeches for corporate leaders and works for clients in Singapore and throughout Australia.