By now, the general public has become fairly familiar with the issues posed by climate change. The boundaries of knowledge have expanded beyond mere awareness and have reached the point where individuals, businesses, and other professionals are no longer holding back from taking small but steady steps to reduce their carbon footprint. PR agencies and independent PR professionals fall under this category too.
In pursuit of a more environmentally-friendly approach to business, they seek ways to be more mindful of their professional practice so that the leads they attract and clients they get remain fully satisfied with the provided services from an ecological standpoint, too.
As per the survey conducted by Nielsen, a whopping 81 percent of the respondents have strong feelings about the need for companies to ‘go green’. And while Millennials and Gen Z’s are the loudest when voicing this opinion, older generations aren’t oblivious to the urgency either.
This combination of shared beliefs in the necessity of a change and the willingness of service providers to adapt and evolve leads to raised market standards that have to be met.
There is more to ecological initiatives than cutting costs and saving money
If you didn’t know already, taking the path of becoming environmentally-conscious is a financially smart decision. When strategized well, it can save you money and even help you generate some additional profit. We’re talking about harnessing the power of renewable energy sources, utilizing eco-friendly appliances, and recycling in exchange for cash among other things.
But it doesn’t end there. Taking responsibility for the waste you create and being transparent about the ways you’re incorporating green tactics into your practice to reduce the carbon footprint is followed by public recognition that’s highly valued in the competitive world of today. It makes you stand out from the packed crowd of those who offer similar services and forces potential clients to choose you over the competitor.
According to the Green Business Bureau, clients are continually looking for service providers who don’t shy away from disclosing their stance on the environment. They are drawn to those who care about the widespread issues and are doing all that’s in their power to combat them, climate change actions included.
To lay all the cards on the table, you can include a social responsibility statement on your website that clearly states the core values that your agency shares. It can also be used to educate new members of the team and market your PR services in a sustainable light.
Speaking about marketing, it’s by far the easiest and most straightforward way to demonstrate your commitment to green initiatives that would resonate with your clients. With an added slogan of ‘a PR company that cares’, you ensure the message is delivered and the reputation is boosted.
How to go about reducing your carbon footprint
Think you have what it takes to outperform your fellow colleagues? Don’t be all talk—show it. Be it through getting an ISO 14001 certification or making your ‘going green’ strategy public, there are ways to let the world know what differentiates you from other PR experts.
Liberty Communications and Hill+Knowlton are firms that have long recognized the importance of framing their practice from a sustainable perspective to make sure they are not only caught up with the market demands but also exceed client expectations. “As a business, we take our responsibility towards the environment seriously,” says Elena Davidson, CEO at Liberty Communications agency.
She mentions that their collaboration with tech-savvy companies that enable others to “reduce their energy consumption through IoT devices and smart energy management” puts them ahead of the curve as they continue supporting clean technologies.
The associated director from H+K communications Emma Wright brings up the employee-driven change the agency enforces that led to them winning the Employee Engagement Award at the PRCA and the Business Green Employee Engagement Campaign of the Year back in 2017 as a result of their work with the employee-pledging platform Do Nation that incentivized every staff member to make small daily changes that, when accumulated, contributed to the bigger goal.
No matter what environmental peculiarities are at your disposal – connections with technologically-advanced companies or the ability to help clients do work with an impact – you can always position yourself better in the marketplace by taking measures to eliminate the pollution, one step at a time:
- Ditch print-outs and employ electronic alternatives instead. The World Counts affirms that 50% of the waste businesses produce is the result of using paper. This seems excessive considering all the technological tools that are widely available to us. Storing data on digital platforms like Dropbox, Apple iCloud, and Google Drive is one of many ways to cut the above number in half.
- Switch to renewable energy sources. The growing concerns over the negative impact of oil and gas have prompted companies both small and big to reevaluate the type and the amount of energy they use. And while it’s more time- and cost-consuming to install solar panels on the agency-wide level, those who work from home can track their energy consumption without much effort.
- Manage business travel emissions. Sustainable traveling should be approached with the utmost responsibility. The responsibility increases threefold when you’re a public relations specialist who tends to travel extensively for work. Choosing to bike, walk, and offset your carbon footprint of air travel is the least you can do to keep yourself accountable.
Attaining your environmental goals isn’t an overnight task. It takes time and continuous effort both from you and from those working with you. But rest assured that those who commit to implementing green initiatives today will reap the benefits that come with them much sooner than those who wait in vain.