Nothing’s as gut-wrenching to an energy sector marcomms professional or senior executive as reading a ‘best of’ or ‘top 10’ list and finding your company isn’t in it. And your rivals are. That’s when you start to hope your boss won’t spot the list—and you begin rehearsing excuses for your company’s absence if he does.
Industry rankings and listings are favoured by editorial teams and research organisations because they are hugely popular with readers. Humans are irresistibly drawn to countdowns and compilations of all shapes and sizes. Being featured in these lists is great for your corporate profile. But how do you manage it?
At Tamarindo, we’re fortunate in part of a group that regularly publishes a range of lists, from A Word About Wind’s industry-leading Power Lists (covering North America, Europe, women, green funds and more) to widely-read one-off analysis pieces such as Energy Storage Report’s 10 companies to watch in 2022. So, we know what goes on.
A variable list of standards
And the fact is that it varies from one list to another. Some of the more prestigious lists you will see in the industry are compiled through a rigorous judging process. Our own Renewables Reputation Index was painstakingly researched and included third-party input to ensure impartiality.
Elsewhere, though, the process for compiling a top 10 or best-of list can be as rudimentary as carrying out a straw poll or asking around the office for suggestions. Some of the lists you see at the end and beginning of the year—both favourite times for list-making—are hurriedly pulled together by pressured editorial teams.
Getting into these compilations—as opposed to industry catalogues that are usually paid for—is sometimes less about corporate excellence and more to do with being on a journalist’s radar at the right place and time. Although it should not be the case, making a noise often equates to success in the unruly world of list making.
Why it counts to make a noise
Hence, the simple answer to how to get into this year’s top 10 lists is this: find as many opportunities to engage with the press as you can. (If you are short of ideas, download the tip sheet accompanying this blog.)
Do not restrict your outreach to the media outlets that publish the lists you want to get into—journalists pick up a remarkable amount of their information from rival publications.
And when it comes to creating an image of sustained success, regular communications count just as much as big splashes. Any journalist worth their salt will do a quick scan of recent industry headlines before settling down to write their best-of article.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em
Finally, a quick pro tip: if you feel the chances of your business being included in an end-of-year roundup are slim, then why not put your favourite spokesperson forward as someone who can provide independent commentary for the listing?
Such third-party voices are sometimes valued by hacks keen to demonstrate that they haven’t just ripped off last year’s list from a rival publication. More prestigious listings, meanwhile, may be on the lookout for judges and might welcome approaches from knowledgeable industry insiders.
If you go down this route, beware of timing—many end-of-year industry media roundups begin gestation around November, and more in-depth reports like the Power Lists have an even longer production cycle.
The benefit of being included
Assuming your media relations machine is properly oiled, being aware of and responsive to this PR niche is not hard. And it can pay significant returns, with stakeholder groups such as investors placing remarkable store on whether companies make it into certain lists.
But if you are seeing list after list go by without your brand in the mix, then maybe you should speak to us now about what you can do to change the situation.