In summer 2000, the West coast energy crisis, particularly in California, began capturing national media attention. Insufficient energy capacity and the ongoing threat of rolling blackouts created political and financial impacts, which worsened in the fall and early winter. Silicon Energy Corporation, a privately held technology company based in Alameda, Calif., developed EEM SuiteÔ, which enables enterprises to reduce energy costs and related expenditures through Web-based energy technology software.  With EEM Suite, enterprises and energy service providers are able to manage efficiently consumption and procurement, and distribute energy assets through real-time analysis. The product suite also allows intelligent control over enterprise-wide energy usage, as well as comprehensive reporting and monitoring capabilities. Optimizing the timeliness of the energy issue, Carter Ryley Thomas (CRT) implemented a comprehensive media relations campaign to raise awareness of Silicon Energy as a solution to the energy crisis. This outreach has not only resulted in a large response from media, businesses and utility companies, but in growth of business and inquiries for the company.


The growing focus on the energy crisis and need for better energy management presented a prime opportunity to position Silicon Energy’s EEM Suite as a strong energy management solution to the energy shortage.  CRT’s challenge was to establish the company and its EEM Suite as a viable energy management product tool without positioning the company as opportunistic.  Communications were carefully crafted and disseminated appropriately.


Objectives included:

  • Generate vast media coverage within the energy, technology, business/financial and vertical (sales channels) media.   
  • Increase sales of and inquiries for the EEM Suite. 
  • Increase general awareness of Silicon Energy’s products, especially among product customers.


CRT’s strategies included:

  • Create a strong media outreach campaign. The campaign included, tier one, tier two and tier three media outreach.
  • Establish relationships with key analysts and customers for third-party support. CRT identified reporters covering energy, technology, and business through aggressive research of industry coverage in trade, business, print, electronic and broadcast media.  
  • Leverage energy crisis for customer education.  CRT pitched more than 500 reporters and editors with time-sensitive messages targeted to the particular publication, industry and energy trends.  
  • Editorial calendar opportunities were identified. Topics related to energy management and building automation were targeted.  
  • Key messages were developed. Messages were tailored to each intended media audience.  
  • An aggressive media relations campaign was launched. Information on EEM Suite’s capabilities was released. An extensive E-mail and telephone contact campaign followed dissemination of media alerts and press releases.  

CRT positioned Silicon Energy as an energy efficient solution to the ongoing energy shortage.  First line tactics focused on capturing attention of energy and technology media, some interest developed. As the energy shortage began to impact business more significantly, business media became the focal point of contact, which resulted in even greater press coverage.


As the energy crisis has increased in the west, so too has coverage of Silicon Energy. Energy, computer/hi-tech and business media both locally and nationally have covered Silicon Energy as a company offering energy management products that can help alleviate the energy crisis. 

CRT has generated more than 200 media hits for Silicon Energy since the initial development of the energy shortage. 

To date, CRT and Silicon Energy has generated media hits in top media, such as: 

  • Computerworld
  • Software Development Magazine
  • Eweek
  • Smart Business
  • Business Week Online
  • CNN FN
  • CNET
  • CNBC
  • Red Herring
  • New York Times
  • Scripps-Howard
  • InfoWorld
  • San Jose Mercury News
  • Local San Francisco area networks
  • Oakland Tribune
  • National Public Radio

Additionally, CRT helped secure recent interviews with or interest from:

  • Wall Street Journal
  • San Jose Mercury News
  • Kiplinger Washington Letter

Due to increased coverage, Silicon Energy has also experienced increased interest in its products from potential customers.
Despite the marketing and communications restrictions imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) during Silicon Energy’s IPO process, CRT achieved tremendous product press coverage for Silicon Energy.