We’re so engaged with them that we find them hard to put down. Yet, “Consumer engagement”, or lack of, has become quite the buzz term when it comes to smart home devices offering energy management. We know the benefits of having a smart phone, yet the benefits of smart home devices are less well known.

Smart home devices, from smart thermostats to remote control heating, are popping up across the globe. We’ve noticed there’s increasing press interest around this technology and with the recent Energy Savings Trust report revealing just how much energy and money we’re wasting by leaving devices on, not to mention the EU’s targets to improve energy efficiency, means that those entering the smart home market do so at an opportune time.

The challenge these new entrants face is communicating the benefits of their technology clearly and in an engaging way in order to win consumer interest. PR plays a vital role here in helping to communicate the product’s benefits, whether it’s cutting fuel bills or improving safety, and mapping these issues to the wider news agenda in order to get the message out there.

Of course creating a user friendly device that engages the consumer is ultimately R&D’s domain and not the communication department’s. However, PR is not just a one-way mode of communication. It can also play an important role in providing information to R&D on public perception – what the market wants and does not want. Monitoring social media channels and market news all helps to feed into that process.

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