Sustainability has been a buzzword of sorts for a few years now but how can individuals and businesses use the benefits of sustainable efforts to their advantage when it comes to communications and marketing?
Publicity and brand value, as well as potential avenues in sponsorship and funding are just a few reasons that show why effort should be invested in communicating sustainability initiatives as effectively as possible – here are some ways to promote and market your activities:
Sustainability means different things to different people. Most will often automatically default to thinking of the environment, but there are various other dimensions such as societal and economical elements.
Their views on sustainability efforts may also be focused on the initial cost implications or potential lack of impact for the effort that goes into the activities.
Focus comms on explaining what sustainability is, how it affects your stakeholders, and what benefits will come from the activities you are undertaking. You could do this through FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) pieces, external case study examples of similar activations that have been successful, question and answer sessions, or video walkthroughs of plans/ideas.
Engage All Stakeholders
Create clear, easy to consume communications channels to engage with the stakeholders that will be influenced by your initiatives such as local governments, your customers/members, academy pupils, local residents surrounding your facility, the local golf community, etc.
Your best approach here would be to initially identify all the different stakeholders involved and find out what they want, what their concerns are, and how you can communicate with them effectively. Then you can build a plan about what messages go to which stakeholders and when.
You could then take that a step further and involve stakeholders at key points (e.g. inviting local government officials to milestone events, or running open evenings with members).
2015 is seemingly a turning point for transparency in business – keeping people in the loop on what is happening and why will help them feel involved in the process ensuring understanding of actions and their impact.
Publishing reports or findings, regular updates by email, in-depth explanations of actions authored by key decision makers, and clear policies/standards will help your stakeholders stay informed.
Prepare in advance for questions, queries, challenges and more from various stakeholders. Use the information gathered during stakeholder research to create a library of answers for people to use and tap in to.
The other key here is to make sure your entire team/staff are on-board and understand what is happening, how to explain it, and how to answer consistently so everyone is on-message.
Shout About Your Good Work
Lastly, make sure you shout about the outcomes of the work as much as possible through articles, features, interviews and more. Contact local authorities or media outlets to show off how your business is promoting sustainability – you never know what sort of assistance, funding or business could be attracted when you get good PR and marketing behind your activities.