Positioning Unirac as a Thought Leader in the Solar Industry

Unirac, a Hilti company, is North America’s  leading provider of infrastructure for solar power systems for utility, commercial and residential installations. The company provides a wide variety of photovoltaic (PV) array mounting solutions for solar panels for ground mount, tilt and flush roof mount, and open structure applications.

The Challenge

unirac_cropped_logoUnirac wanted to demonstrate thought leadership by promoting an issue important to the solar industry as a whole. Sterling was brought in to help identify the right topic for evangelism and execute a strategy that both showcased Unirac’s expertise and helped move the industry forward. After brainstorming several topics, Sterling and Unirac decided that the crucial need for codes and standards in solar infrastructure was the right issue to promote aggressively. Codes and standards are of paramount importance to the solar industry because insufficient testing with weight loads/weather conditions or improperly installed mounting can prove utterly disastrous.

The Approach

Sterling decided to generate awareness for the Unirac brand around this critical issue by: 1) crafting and placing Unirac-authored contributed content in leading industry publications that demonstrated expert knowledge in the area of codes and standards; 2) targeting key events and tradeshows for speaking engagements on this topic; and 3) establishing Unirac as a leader in the global push to increase the safety and quality of solar infrastructure.

The Results

Sterling’s aggressive and quick-hitting campaign garnered excellent results. Sterling was able to secure placement of multiple feature-length contributed content on codes and standards in five key solar industry outlets: AltEnergy Magazine, North American Clean Energy, Renewable Energy World, Solar Industry Magazine and Solar Novus Today (a two-parter). Sterling also drafted and submitted written question-and-answer interviews on codes and standards that appeared in InterPV and in the “show daily” of Renewable Energy World that was distributed the opening day of the Solar Power International trade show, to help drive booth traffic. Moreover, Sterling timed a third bylined article in Solar Novus Today to coincide with Unirac’s speaking engagement at the Energy, Utility & Environment Conference (EUEC), thereby reinforcing Unirac’s leadership message during the show. Sterling then leveraged Unirac’s various social media channels to extend the reach of these feature articles and speaking engagement content.

In addition to the EUEC speaking engagement, Sterling also secured speaking slots — solo, panel and tutorial — at leading industry events including Solar Power International and World Renewable Energy Forum. These coveted speaking slots offered Juan Suarez, Unirac’s senior director of engineering and program management, the opportunity to discuss Unirac’s mission to advance quality and safety in the solar industry.

The Unirac name is quickly becoming synonymous with efforts to develop and adopt universal codes and standards in solar infrastructure, which is exactly what Sterling — and the client — wanted to occur.

“We were thrilled with the results of Sterling’s efforts to promote our market leadership in the area of codes and standards. Their strategic counsel on the thought leadership front has been invaluable.” – Marcelo Gomez, Director of Marketing, Unirac