Riding The Green Wave: Topics That Resonate With Sustainability Reporters

By Jackie Brown

Investment in climate tech may have been down in 2023, but the industry still outperformed all other sectors – underscoring an important message: the urgency of climate action and the lucrative potential of cleantech, even in challenging times.

For innovators navigating a competitive industry with limited media resources – sustainability reporting has taken a major hit from recent media industry layoffs – the key to building a substantial presence lies in targeted, consistent, and strategic media relations grounded in thought leadership.

Unleash Your Expertise

Journalists and their readers are hungry for knowledge, and you’re the expert. Regularly mining your team for intriguing story ideas is incredibly important to the PR process. Investing time in research and brainstorming leads to a unique and well-rounded company voice and a sharp increase in the quality of your content. Get your experts on the phone at least bimonthly to explore new trends, understand your customers’ pain points, and delve into their perspectives on recent developments, such as the outcomes of the World Economic Forum.

With so few available sustainability reporters, coming to a relationship armed with multiple story ideas, robust commentary on each and even the ability to craft content for them will keep you at the top of their very busy inboxes.

The Themes of the Moment

We’re out there pitching all day, every day – we know what resonates with sustainability reporters right now.

Rules & Regulations

Numerous regulations advocating for increased corporate accountability are currently in debate or at various stages of passage, with significant implications for U.S.-based businesses. If you possess the expertise to decipher the nuances of policy conversations, reporters want to hear from you. Stand out in crowded inboxes by providing industry-specific commentary and tailoring your insights to trade outlets like Fashion Dive.

The best part is that when conducting this type of pitching, which we like to call newsjacking, you are able to quickly build valuable relationships with reporters – by reaching them as soon as news breaks, when they need to work fast to file a compelling story, you show you’re both smart and reliable. They typically come back after that.

Adapting to and Mitigating Climate Change

The undeniable reality of our changing climate makes it as a hot topic across sectors. If your thought leaders can speak to preparing for a more volatile planet – perhaps by tracking and anticipating critical weather events and their effects, reducing and recycling carbon emissions, creating infrastructure that can withstand major changes in climate and population density, creating novel processes that work within existing manufacturing chains so better resources can be deployed more rapidly, optimizing energy usage so limited resources aren’t wasted and the cost of renewables can be reduced, and so on – leverage that expertise with data and real-world examples as your pillars. Reputable outlets like Bloomberg and Reuters regularly cover these issues.


Greentech is growing quicker than ever, and as with just about every industry right now, the AI revolution is officially here. All eyes are on companies doing interesting things with artificial intelligence and the media is hungry to learn more. Smart, technical-focused thought leaders stand out from the pack in a crowded landscape, so lean into that in as non-promotional a way as possible – how does your tech work? What quantifiable impact can your technology have on the world? Why does that matter to the industry/world at large? What impact do you anticipate AI having on the industry, short and long-term? Is it too soon for bold claims? Our clients are finding that, while AI will have a positive impact in the long-run, it’s not yet contributing in a meaningful way and may instead be serving as a distraction from achieving net-zero goals.  Publications like AIthority and Cadalyst will be interested.


We are in the thick of 2024 planning and storymining and we’re hearing from more and more clients that public-private partnerships are the way forward. But what will they require to succeed? Take the reins on this conversation by offering reporters best practices, joint interviews with your own partners and thought leadership about the potential real-world impact – how partnerships can and will turn on the light at the end of the tunnel.

Invest the Time, Reap the Rewards

When you have minimal time to invest in PR efforts, it can feel difficult to find time for more than press releases. But the truth is, everybody is sharing company news every day. Reporters can only pick up so much.

A steady drumbeat of thought leadership – both by way of interviews and contributed content – not only meaningfully increases your share of voice in your space, but it also lays the groundwork for more feature pieces on your news. When you share your press release with a reporter, they are far more likely to care if the Google results for your company are full of quality coverage from reputable news sources that position you as a true expert in your field.

And while you’re at it, maximize the reach of your expertise, content and coverage with a dynamic newsroom. When the media landscape lacks, you can pick up the slack and become a reliable source of data, insights and discussion. Don’t relegate this section of your website to press releases about new hires and product updates; use it to shine more light on your unique POV with engaging industry commentary from within and without your brand. Your customers, prospects, investors and stakeholders – and media – will see you as the authority you are.

Jackie Brown is an Account Director for Matter’s Precision group. She’s led her teams to securing the high-impact pieces of coverage linked throughout this piece, in addition to coverage in GreenBiz, Water Online, Fast Company and many more.