As part of our efforts in managing SolarCity public relations, we were charged with creating a groundswell for solar. In this case, SolarCity’s Community Solar Program needed massive acceptance. The program would provide financial incentives for neighborhoods that adopted solar together, but without record-breaking sales the company wouldn’t reach the economies of scale they needed to be successful in California or bring the program nationwide.

What we did

Neighborhoods needed to rally together to make the program work, so we took a local approach to public relations. We trained neighborhood solar advocates to be community spokespeople. We aggressively pursued attention in community and county media, emphasizing the most fitting key messages for each region while driving attendance at SolarCity’s neighborhood solar information sessions. We also partnered with local environmental organizations to help pressure communities to adopt more friendly permitting regulations when it came to adopting solar.

We received widespread and timely coverage in targeted regional outlets like the Menlo Park Almanac, San Mateo County Times, Palo Alto Daily News, Santa Monica Mirror, Mountain View Voice, Long Beach Signal Tribune, and the Los Altos Town Crier.

With the assistance of a successful public relations campaign, SolarCity was able to sell more residential solar power in the nation’s largest solar market than had ever been acquired before: in the program’s 16 months, the company brought in a total of 2.7 megawatts of solar power to homeowners across the state and became a model that was carried across the country.

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