Green Communications – Secrets of the Sustainability Masterminds
Last Friday saw the final Corporate Sustainability Mastermind Group of 2014. We met in the fantastic Biscuit Factory art gallery in Newcastle, surrounded by some wonderful pieces of art (above).
The theme of the meeting was Green Communications and here are 12 of the 44 learning points arising from the discussion:
- It’s easier to get green communications very wrong than wonderfully right.
- All communications have to be able to answer the question “so what?”
- Facts must be in context – what does it mean?
- ‘Green’ and ‘sustainable’ are difficult words – facts may be more powerful.
- Authenticity is the key success factor.
- Admitting mistakes or including honest third party views (eg Jonathan Porritt with Marks & Spencer) helps authenticity.
- Some people want detail, some want the big picture – need to provide for both by ‘layering’ the message.
- Need to target the audience(s) with influence – may be a step or two removed from your immediate stakeholders eg customers of your customers.
- Match format to the audience – eg data and charts for technical audiences, infographics for non-technical audiences.
- Age matters: millennials have different values/language than, say, baby boomers.
- Litmus test – does the message get echoed back, or does the same question get asked over and over again?
- Make your communications team part of your sustainability team to cut the number of hoops you have to jump through.
As ever, the discussion that lead to these points was more valuable than these bullet points.
The Group members have identified a fascinating and challenging topic for the next meeting – ‘Age and Sustainability’ – how we need to account for the differences between millennials and baby boomers in our sustainability programmes.
The Corporate Sustainability Mastermind Group is for sustainability practitioners working in large organisations. You can learn more about the Group here.