case studies, PR & thought leadership

Trade-focused thought leadership powers Optimum’s PR breakthrough

Thinkshift | May 19, 2019

Optimum Energy’s technology saves energy and improves operations by optimizing HVAC systems in large buildings, manufacturing facilities and campuses, delivering typical cost savings of 20 to 50 percent.

In 2016, the Seattle-based company tapped Thinkshift to raise brand awareness with key audiences, showcase staff expertise and educate potential buyers about optimization and product benefits. We were starting nearly from scratch: despite Optimum’s 10 years of market success, a following in hardcore engineering circles and innovative, proven technology, it lacked broader brand awareness and had limited media presence.

To break Optimum out of its niche, Thinkshift developed a thought leadership strategy based on writing bylined articles for trade publications and creating substantive case studies for use in sales and marketing as well as media pitches. We also refined and clarified product messaging and helped Optimum tell its story consistently. As we gained media traction after the first year, goals included raising the company’s profile with sustainability and cleantech audiences and differentiating the brand and solutions from competitors.


  • 85 placements over 3 1/2 years
  • An enhanced brand profile in key markets
  • Company leaders are recognized as field experts

“Thinkshift’s strategic approach has elevated our visibility with target markets and helped create credibility in the sustainability space, in ways we couldn’t have done on our own—and which previous agencies couldn’t do,” said Steven Horowitz, Optimum Energy’s director of business development.


  • Drew on Optimum Energy’s technical and market expertise to develop bylined articles and place them in trade publications covering target verticals (higher education, healthcare and pharmaceutical manufacturing) and facility and systems management publications
  • Developed case studies that highlighted quantifiable results and presented Optimum’s strengths from the customer’s viewpoint
  • Developed thought leadership topics tied to current trends and key issues, and placed articles in sustainability and cleantech outlets
  • Secured coverage in key trade publications for a new product launch and promoted a corporate partnership, new patents and a major milestone (saving customers 1 billion kilowatt hours of energy)


  • Consistent pitching of a mix of technical and strategic topics, case studies and a product launch gave Optimum 85 substantive placements over three and a half years in outlets that reached the company’s target audiences.
  • Editors now look to Optimum for expert sources and invite executives to write articles.
  • Optimum Energy had a voice in conversations about the sharing economy, the future of energy use, smart buildings, zero net energy, Caribbean island resilience and other topics.
  • Based on Thinkshift’s nomination, Optimum Energy was awarded Seattle Business magazine’s 2016 Community Impact Award for Green Products and Services.

Thinkshift’s strategic approach has elevated our visibility with target markets and helped create credibility in the sustainability space.”

—Steven Horowitz, director of business development

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