Share Price 44.00 p

//Proof that PR drives investment

Challenge

Start-up business, The Solar Cloth Company is rapidly becoming a leader in thin photovoltaics that can be integrated into buildings where traditional solar panels cannot be placed. To help grow the business, it set up a crowdfunding campaign in October 2014, with a target of £750,000. After two weeks, the funding total stood at just £8,000.

With just over a month remaining and 99% more funding to achieve, Proof, part of April Six, was brought on board to create a PR campaign that would drive people to the company’s crowdfunding page to invest.

Solution

The Proof team quickly immersed itself in the business, applying more than 10 years of experience working with highly complex science and engineering organisations to identify the elements of Solar Cloth Company’s technology that would resonate well with potential investors.

By bringing together the innovative design of the product with the experience and credibility of its leadership team, Proof was able to articulate the investment opportunity on offer. Publicity through a programme of media tactics including a news release, media briefings and site visits to the Cambridge Research Park ensured communication reached communities that traditionally invest in niche environments.

Results

Proof’s targeted media relations generated more than 50 pieces of high quality media coverage including The Daily Telegraph, global broadcast media through Reuters Innovation and a host of impactful features in titles such as The Engineer and Engineering & Technology.

They also secured a video on Reuters which was syndicated across high profile websites like The Huffington Post, MSN, Yahoo and Bing.

The campaign surpassed its crowdfunding target by 137% and secured more than £1m of investment, delivering a return on investment of more than 29,000%.

The increase in crowdfunding resulted in the company becoming the first Cambridge cleantech start-up to be valued at more than £5m. This included the largest single investment made on a UK crowdfunding website (£500,000), which could be directly traced back to the articles Proof had secured.

Following the campaign, Proof was awarded the first ever Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ (CIPR) award for excellence in STEM communication as a result of the fantastic results achieved.

Winning this award firmly places Proof at the top of the UK’s market for communicating complexity in the fields of science, engineering and technology and the country’s most successful Agency in this growing sector.

Proof is part of The Mission Marketing Group plc (the missiontm), the marketing communications and advertising group including April Six, bigdog, Mongoose, Bray Leino, Robson Brown, RLA, Solaris, Speed, Splash, Story and ThinkBDW.