Moving towards a sustainable future
As de-carbonisation and sustainability continue to move up business, government and consumer agendas, the media landscape for brands operating within the sector are becoming increasingly competitive. New businesses are emerging each week claiming to be champions of sustainability. Therefore brands need to know how to position themselves to stand out from the crowd?
It is important to remember that consumers will not purchase your product or service just because it’s sustainable. And with so many firms now making sustainability claims, asserting what makes your business stand out is one of the most vital tasks.
Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in a brand’s story. Consequently, they need to understand why you’ve come up with the product idea, and what it means to you. The notion of authenticity is vital when talking about sustainability.
Whilst PR firms can be seen as supporting brands in making false claims and glossing up reputations. They can also be used to reposition a brand and showcase the difference they are trying to make.
As we become more aware of the impact our lifestyles and practices have on the environment, it is up to every area of a business to become more carbon-neutral and find sustainable solutions. Brands now need to align themselves with the environmentally-conscious mindset of modern-day consumers and show that they have a genuine interest in our plant. This is where we can help.
The world of PR is all about finding the perfect time to send your press release to journalists. It might seem simple, but it’s not. It’s about seeing the perfect opportunity to link a client story when a hot news story has just come out. Once you’ve spotted your opportunity, then journalists will happily talk about your side of a story. They can then link it to the brand or agenda that was mentioned. This provides a chance for a company to comment on the news or join the discussion. Therefore ensuring that your brand’s name is mentioned in national media.
As an example, we worked with online affordable renewable energy, Octopus Energy, to support their media relations and creative campaigns. We established the CEO as a go-to industry commentator on all things energy and sustainability-related by hijacking the news. This resulted in 140 pieces of coverage, 48 national articles and 5 broadcast appearances.
If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, you’ll be aware of all those awareness days going on daily. This can help PR and brands build together their content calendar in advance. If you’re a sustainable brand you might want to participate in Zero Waste Week. This will allow you to join the debate and showcase your brand. It’s always a good idea to coincide product launches with relevant news-worthy occasions, which gives a journalist two topics in one.
As an example, we worked with a collective of engineers and scientists, called Epicuro, that have spent years researching and developing a device that can separate salt from oceanic water. They invented the Epicuro Desalinator, a battery-less technology that can yield 40 litres of clean water a day using a free power source that’s abundant in the developing world: the sun. With World Water Day 2019 around the corner, we helped them create different assets and videos and started our outreach with the mainstream media on that day.
Finding the right journalist:
The good news is, that editors and journalists are happy to engage with the topic of sustainability because for them it’s new and interesting and an ever-evolving discussion, but you must have your own view and unique point on it. They’re understanding that an editor must engage in sustainability because it’s the future; it’s not a trend that’s going to go away. So, finding the right journalist who is happy to cover a sustainable and ethical story is crucial. At The PHA Group, we have long-established relationships with journalists across print, broadcast, online and influencers. We’ll always push the story to the right journalist, knowing exactly what will pique their interest.
Thought leadership is great for showing that your leadership team care about your work. Furthermore, it can showcase your commitment by allowing you to explaining your goal to a wide audience. It’s a great opportunity to show that you’re an expert in your field and why you want to pioneer a sustainable message for your business. Finally, it will show the media that you have a genuine interest in the environment.
As an example, we recently secured coverage for Alchemie as they spearhead their transition into low-energy, waterless solutions. To read the article click here.
There’s so much to educate yourself on to be able to talk authentically about a sustainable project. Make sure you are media trained to ensure you know how to talk about your brand confidently. This will allow you to be ready for any questions propositioned by a journalist. If you’re watching Dragon’s Den, for example, you’ll see that investors are asking a lot of questions regarding business models and how sustainable their business is. This leaves no room for errors. Our team of experts can help you get ready for any questions and show you how to speak in front of the camera. We have former journalists running workshops with brands to help them with any issue they might face.
Use the right influencers:
Finding the right influencers to represent your business or brand is key. We know that influencer marketing can be extremely effective for a business. However you can’t just go to any influencers. It is important you do a lot of research before you approach them to understand who their audience is and what type of content they produce. It’s about finding the right individuals that will support and engage with your ethics. Remember it is all about authenticity!
We have a wide network of influencers we work with regularly, where we incorporate a stringent vetting process. We recently worked with PHA client Ethique, the world’s first zero-waste beauty brand, to launch in the UK. One of our tactics was to engage with relevant influencers in the beauty, vegan and sustainable space. This allowed the brand to tap into their online communities. This, in turn, helped raise brand awareness and generate interest in the product range. More than 16 influencers endorsed the brand on their social media channels, raving about the company’s eco-credentials and zero-waste promise, with a combined reach of 1.5 million.
Create your own event:
If you live and breathe sustainability and your goal is to help others to become more sustainable, then why not organise your own event? This could include a fun event where you can invite journalists to come and participate in something like making a sustainable dinner for example or learning how to knit.