MissionCTRL Communications (mc²) - Technology Campaign

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Company: MissionCTRL Communications (mc²) , San Francisco, CA
Company Description: Founded in 2013 to support innovators at the intersection of science and technology, MissionCTRL Communications (mc²) is an award-winning strategic communications consultancy operating at the intersection of mobility, energy, finance and resources.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year - Technology

Nomination Title: Death to Diesel Campaign

Tell the story about this nominated campaign since January 1, 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

Supplanting an incumbent industry that has defined mass transportation for over a century is no easy task, but that’s exactly Proterra’s mission as it seeks to replace every fossil fuel and diesel-dependent bus in North America with its zero-emission, battery-electric buses. In an effort to realize Proterra’s mission and encourage transit agencies across the U.S. that electric city buses to transition away from diesel buses, mc² launched the “Death to Diesel” campaign.

As auto giants from Volkswagen to Fiat Chrysler face fallout from emissions scandals, the transportation industry has begun to wake up to the need for cleaner energy solutions. Cities throughout Europe and, increasingly, the United States have even started to ban diesel vehicles within their municipal borders. However, while the economic and environmental benefits of clean mobility are clearer and more compelling than ever before, there are still many hurdles to overcome as cities, commercial enterprises, and other institutions transition to infrastructure systems that support battery-electric transport. mc² ‘s Death to Diesel campaign aims to address these hurdles, while positioning Proterra as an innovator and market leader in the heavy-duty electric vehicle industry.

After increasing Proterra’s role as an industry leader through a series of media outreach pushes around new North American customer wins and technology innovation, mc² created and executed a broad launch campaign for the company’s newest addition to its electric fleet of urban mass transit buses - the Catalyst E2. The launch showcased the technology as the only diesel replacement in the transit market and the final blow to the “range anxiety” problem in the heavy-duty EV space. Overall, the two week campaign garnered 43 media features in a wide variety of top-tier publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, TechCrunch, Bloomberg, Wired, Business Insider, and many others. The visibility Proterra received from the E2 launch campaign proved exceedingly valuable in the months that followed, as Proterra soon secured the largest EV bus order in history from Seattle’s King County Metro and closed an oversubscribed $140M Series E funding round.

Proterra has now surpassed five percent of new mass transit vehicles ordered in 2016 - a number that is only expected to grow as the company accelerates into 2017. In tandem with these product, procurement, and deployment-based announcements, mc² elevated Proterra’s voice in the industry by securing close to 30 speaking opportunities for CEO Ryan Popple and other company executives at clean transportation and smart city tech events across the country in 2016. Highlights include: the World Economic Forum’s Conference on Urban Mobility, SXSW Eco, APTA’s Annual Conference, AEE’s Path to 2050, GreenBiz’ VERGE, Cleantech Forum, and a number of other renowned conferences. mc² also helped Proterra win 8 esteemed awards, including the Edison Innovation Award, the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneer Award, Bloomberg’s New Energy Pioneer Award, and Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 Award.

The program continues to generate incredible visibility and customer/investor pull-through for Proterra, solidifying its position as the leader in the heavy-duty EV market. Due to its elevated profile at both the state and national level (320 + media features, 27+ speaking events, and 8 awards), Proterra has overcome the “nascent” technology label and is now being heralded as the “Tesla of Transit”. With the help of the “Death to Diesel” campaign, Proterra sold more than 375 vehicles to 36 different municipal, university, and commercial transit agencies in 20 states across the US. With plans to increase US manufacturing by 300% in 2017, mc²’s campaign will continue to help Proterra further expand deployment of their battery electric vehicles. 2017 is poised to to be the year that electric mass transit supplants fossil fuel and diesel-dependent vehicles, and mc² has helped cement Proterra’s place at the forefront of this revolution.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and results of this nominated PR program since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).

-# of media features: 320 (including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg West, TechCrunch, Forbes, and Wired)
-# of awards: 8
-Speaking opportunities: 27
-Financing rounds: Proterra had an oversubscribed Series 5 equity financing round, raising more than double what it had set out to secure and capping the round at $140M.
-Largest bus order: King County Metro committed to a 100% zero-emission bus fleet over the next three years, making transit industry history with the largest ZEV order
-E2 product launch: 43 media features alone
-Talent acquisition: As a result of Proterra’s elevated public profile, the company has enjoyed increased attention from top talent in the Silicon Valley area, including former VP of Manufacturing at Tesla Josh Ensign.
-Expansion into new verticals: Since launching the “Death to Diesel” initiative, Proterra has secured commercial, university, and luxury resort partners.