October 08, 2007

Go green. Just make sure the paint sticks

I just returned from Washington, DC where I attended a one-day conference put on by PR Week called Target Green: Collaborating for Change. Speakers and panelists included a congressman, and senior executives for General Motors, the Weather Channel, and Discovery Channel, among others. The following summary from the event agenda accurately describes what the day was all about: The public is increasingly interested in environmental issues and eco-friendly products, and everyone from corporations to policymakers are paying attention.
That’s right. Everyone does seem to be paying attention to issues surrounding climate change, thanks in large part to a former vice president with a Power Point presentation. Being green is hot. It’s trendy. It can help companies sell products and make money.

What role can we, as those responsible for communicating on behalf of our clients and organizations, play? One of the speakers, Thomas Basile, managing director of the Middleberg Sustainability Group, put it this way: Authenticity and credibility should be prerequisites to any marketing program.

It’s essential that we demand that our organizations have authentic and credible green programs before we start to communicate about them. It’s not enough to start a recycling program and install a programmable thermostat and then ship out a news release telling the world how you’ve lowered your carbon footprint and are suddenly “green.” Although those are certainly admirable things, they likely don’t make for news. But, once you have established true authenticity and credibility then tell the stories – again and again.

These principles should obviously apply to all communications programs, but I’d suggest they might be more essential in this case. There’s more at stake. It would be simply tragic if business decision-makers – or general consumers, for that matter – shy away from implementing programs to reduce their environmental footprints because they’re frustrated with the rhetoric and don’t understand the full benefits of doing business with less environmental impact.

Being green can be profitable, but it has to be real. There’s a lot riding on it. --Larry


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Go green. Just make sure the paint sticks:


SMART TIP: Make it a policy to buy furniture, carpeting, and paint that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and won't off-gas toxic chemicals.

Hi everyone! <a href=http://my.nbc.com/Kim_Kardashian_Sex>:D</a> Im new to purethinking.typepad.com. I hope I can be a regular here!

The comments to this entry are closed.