PR during climate crisis
The climate crisis is an important issue when it comes to facing communication challenges. When a company is doing the right thing for the environment, it is important to talk about it. A professional communicator needs to practice empathy because without it ideas will not be communicated effectively. People are now aware of the extent of damage that we are doing to our planet and if a business is eco-friendly and is committed to sustainability practices then that needs to be conveyed to the audience.
Power of PR
A PR team should be aware of the latest trends and issues that are affecting not only the industry but also the wider public. Customers are becoming mindful of environmental issues and they do not mind paying extra for a brand that seems to take sustainability seriously. PR professionals should treat this as an opportunity to tell compelling stories to the public. While communicating environmental actions taken by companies to customers and stakeholders, PR professionals should keep in mind that they should not resort to ‘greenwashing’, or make inaccurate green claims. Transparency is important when it comes to sustainability initiatives. Given below are examples of practices to adopt for effective sustainability communications.
Keep communications simple
Sustainability is complicated. It is more than just recycling efforts in the office. The right message should be delivered and that message should be conveyed with honesty and transparency to gain the trust of the audience. For instance, Bank of America has invested in high-risk sectors such as early stage clean – energy. This action conveys to the public that Bank of America is an organization that wants to positively impact the planet. The message to the public does not have to include everything possible as no matter how much information is given out, it is never enough to satisfy everyone.
Use the multi-channel approach
Customers constantly move from one channel of communication to the other. If a PR campaign on sustainability has to generate buzz, it has to convey messages across digital channels as well as traditional PR channels. Communicating well and convincing people of facts will take creativity. A lot of people spend time on social media and that is where PR campaigns need to be. Channels such as TikTok and Instagram will also help to reach key demographics. Visualizing information is also helpful. Images and infographics help to make complex ideas more easy. They also help to communicate salient points.
Unconvincing and vague sentiments should be avoided. Phrases like ‘we are committed’ and ‘let’s save the world’ do not appeal to socially-conscious consumers. When a business is transparent, customers are willing to understand the challenges they face. For a message to appear serious, sustainability should be treated as a priority. Communication should be robust and honest and backed by data. There should be clear communication about the progress a company has made towards sustainability goals.
Use relatable stories
Human stories where individual efforts have led to positive impact should be used. If the audience can see and hear stories about how lives were genuinely affected they will not be overwhelmed.