Brief

  • Global entech giant Octopus Energy wanted to tell the world about its latest deal with Tokyo Gas which valued the business at $2bn (making it a double unicorn)
  • Part of the deal would launch the Octopus brand in Japan as a joint venture with Tokyo Gas
  • Octopus wanted the latest chapter in its trailblazing story of global expansion covered in the media with recognition given to its tech and green energy credentials

Challenges

  • The deal was sealed at 4am UK time on December 23rd
  • Journalists were preoccupied with another deal – the impending Brexit agreement, borders closing due to a new strain of Covid and the ever-changing UK lockdown measures

Approach

We worked closely with the Octopus in-house team to agree strategy and build a media list that covered international and domestic newswires, print, digital and broadcast. We worked collaboratively, agreeing our approaches to different contacts and making sure there was no room for misunderstanding. We identified a handful of titles and journalists to which we would offer interviews with Octopus Energy CEO Greg Jackson.

Announcement 

Just before 6am on the morning of the deal, the Harpswood team met with Greg, Rebecca Dibb-Simkin, Head of Product & Marketing, KPMG partner Gavin Quantock, who led on the deal, and the in-house comms team for a virtual briefing. After confirmation that the deal was done and an explanation of the final details, Harpswood started contacting trusted media connections to tell them the news, run through the key details and explain the significance. We kept in constant contact with the Octopus comms team, notifying them of every journalist who wanted to run the story and interview Greg. We coordinated on those interviews to ensure Greg’s time was put to the best use.

Results

Media coverage for Octopus’s move into Japan was positive and prolific with more than 200 titles covering the story.

These included Bloomberg, Reuters, PA Media, TechCrunch, The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Mail Online, The Express, the Daily Mirror, the Evening Standard and City AM.

Despite a difficult backdrop of Brexit and Covid, the news of Octopus’s deal with Tokyo Gas was unmissable – and the key messages hit the mark too.

“You’ve heard of challenger banks? Now meet challenger energy suppliers.” TechCrunch

 

“Greg Jackson has the kind of ambition Britain needs from its tech stars.” Evening Standard interview

 

“The Japan move follows forays into the U.S., German and Australian power markets.” Bloomberg

Last word

Greg congratulated Harpswood and in-house team for our collaborative work, describing it as “a phenomenal effort against a backdrop of PR no-nos – Dec 23rd, 4am, Covid, Brexit, borders closing… you still managed to get such an astonishing amount of great coverage.”