Gemma has been involved in managing and writing campaigns, strategy and journalism for more than 20 years, working with companies and organizations worldwide. With wider experience in the film, media and digital sphere, and a PhD from the University of Manchester, she brings strong creative flair to Golden Brain.
Sometimes news is slow; you may have products in development but no launches. Everything is ticking along but there is nothing immediately newsworthy. Why not look at your products and business through a different lens to find great stories and generate engaging PR?
Sustainability and environmental responsibility are becoming so important. Many customers will be looking at how your products can help them meet their own targets and how seriously their suppliers take the environment. End users (consumers) are demanding greater environmental responsibility and this works its way up and down the value chain. Some organizations have even started to include sustainability in their scorecarding questions for preferred suppliers.
Automation technology is designed to do things more efficiently, with the benefits of this more often than not including saving energy and reducing waste. Companies use their marketing material to correctly stress how this saves money for customers, but what if you also reframe it to highlight how it can also help with efforts to tackle the climate crisis?
It is deep within human nature to respond to stories and you can create engaging and compelling good news stories around the environmental benefits of your technology that has wider brand building benefits. In many cases, you can simply focus on steps you are already taking: Does your industrial automation tech help to reduce costs for OEMs by making their machines more efficient? Does your AI-based software reduce waste? Are your battery-electric off-road commercial vehicles zero emissions? Have you taken steps at your own plants or warehouses to save energy?
Here are 4 effective ways you can enhance and promote your environmental credentials:
- Look at your product range and customer case studies. Are there energy efficiency/environmental benefits you can promote?
I would hazard a guess that you have worked with customers to reduce the cost of their operations, improve the performance of their processes or enhanced the efficiency of your technology in order to increase businesses’ bottom lines. Why not consider how this is reducing their impact on the planet? If your technology has led to a reduction in waste or a fall in energy consumption, think about how you can promote this and how it has enhanced your customer’s carbon footprint.
If you have friendly and enthusiastic customers, would they be prepared to provide a case study for you on how your input has helped them meet their environmental goals and enhanced their business operations?
- Develop an ESG or CSR strategy and tell people about it. Promote it to your employees, potential new hires, customers, suppliers and target markets.
ESG (environmental, social, and governance), first coined in 2004, is a framework used by organizations to evaluate and manage risks and opportunities relating to the sustainability, responsibility and ethical impact of their operations. It takes a holistic view that considers all 3 factors to assess impact on the environment, relationships with employees, suppliers, customers and communities, and leadership, management, and decision-making processes. More and more organizations are allocating resources to ESG and producing reports, with mandatory ESG reporting either in place or under consideration in a number of jurisdictions.
Similarly corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating business model that considers the impact of operations on society (including environmental, social and economic factors) to make sure an organization has a positive and ethical impact.
You may already have an ESG or CSR strategy in place, so look at ways to amplify your successes. If you have something good to say, make sure you tell as many people as possible! I really enjoy working with clients on positive stories that showcase their values.
- Apply for and showcase industry awards, accreditations and eco-certifications
There are a growing number of industry awards for sustainability and improving environmental performance. These can range from energy efficiency ratings for your products to environmental management accreditation awards or prizes for sustainable manufacturing practices that can be prominently displayed on your website and promotional materials. If you are particularly ambitious, there are national and international awards that will single out your organization as an industry leader in sustainability and can provide great marketing communications content and PR.
- Promote transparent reporting and sustainability disclosure, enabling you to demonstrate concrete improvements in performance alongside goals and successes to show continuous improvement.
If you are already producing data and reports about your environmental impact and sustainability processes, you can use this to create a range of marketing communications content, from short social media posts celebrating improvements in your metrics, to longer blog articles explaining how you met your environmental goals. Press releases with statistical headlines are often popular and your sustainability projects and outcomes can provide interesting case studies or examples of best practice for your industry.
If you communicate lively and positive news stories through a variety of different forms and channels as part of an integrated marketing and PR campaign, you can reap a host of benefits, including increased orders, more LinkedIn and social media followers, wider and more positive brand awareness through coverage in trade publications, leads generated by gated content such as eBooks, and growing brand loyalty.
Promoting sustainability as part of your core business values and marketing communications is a win-win, as it creates good PR for you and is the right thing to do.
At Golden Brain we can help you develop your marketing communications and PR in order to build your brand. We are experts in your field and have built strong relationships with your industry press. Our unique partnership with market intelligence specialist Interact Analysis enables us to deliver engaging, information-driven marketing communications and PR that gets results. So, whether you are looking for a full-service marketing communications package or help with a specific campaign, get in touch and see how we can help you.