Earth Day: Some tips for your business
Earth Day comes around every year and, with clockwork regularity, companies around the world jump on the internet and profess their love for the planet and their climate change advocacy.
But is this all just posturing? And, perhaps more importantly, do the public and potential customers buy the messaging?
Ahead of Earth Day 2022, here are some tips for your business to get the most out of your corporate communications.
It might sound trite but planning ahead for your Earth Day content is absolutely essential. You don’t want to be walking into the office or, indeed, sitting down at the desk in the corner of your bedroom and simply firing out some tweets and LinkedIn posts with #EarthDay.
Instead, you should think about creating bespoke graphics to make your posts stand out. Or creating some video content with your staff. For example, they could talk about the steps they take to be more climate-conscious – think recycling, reusing, or riding a bike to work instead of driving.
Similarly, if your company is releasing news about a new climate-focused initiative, you need to make sure that you have considered and planned for every eventuality. For example, if users start to make accusations of greenwashing, you should have a plan to respond to them as simply deleting your posts can look incriminating – as many companies found out on International Women’s Day.
Your Earth Day communications should neither come out of the blue and nor should they stand out from the rest of your messaging.
Building a convincing, authentic brand narrative and communications strategy takes time and effort and simply jumping on #EarthDay because every other company will make your business seem out of touch. Your communications on Earth Day should be consistent with the tone of voice your customers and partners are used to.
For example, if your company doesn’t use emojis in its social media communications but, on Earth Day, you start to make exceptions, it will look strange. Similarly, you might be tempted to become grandiose and righteous talking about how essential the fight against climate change is for humanity when, previously, your communications have been a bit dryer. You would, of course, be correct about the existential threat we face but, from a corporate comms point of view, your business’ new-found advocacy might be a bit jarring for some readers.
Demonstrate Action and Commitment
Of course, Earth Day is the perfect time to prove your company’s eco credentials.
If your business has been able to transform its operations to be more climate neutral or, indeed, has a longstanding commitment to being environmentally conscious, you should shout about it.
However, don’t highlight flash-in-the-pan incidents. Highlighting one eco-friendly project that finished six months ago will not wash with consumers and nor will it stand the company in good stead. Rather than saying anything that you think might make the company look good, you should look to demonstrate and show why your business is different and has its priorities right.
Perhaps you haven’t done anything particularly eco-friendly in the last year as a business. Perhaps it’s just not on the radar with the higher ups or maybe the pandemic has forced the company to make cutbacks.
If that’s the case, you shouldn’t be trying to stick up any old story in order to try and get some engagement. If all you have to offer is a pledge from last year, simply restate the pledge. In the business world, just as in the personal sphere, you should avoid writing cheques that you are unable to cash.
Finally, it’s worth remembering that Earth Day, just as with International Women’s Day or Pride Month, is not about your business. Earth Day is about the planet.
Running promotions or trying to drum up new business by using Earth Day as a hook will look contrived at best and conceited at worst. Demonstrating your business’ genuine advocacy and engagement should be the priority.
Want to ensure your corporate communications hit the spot rather than causing a stir?
TheNewsMarket team can advise and assist, as well as hosting your stories on our GreenNewsMarket hub dedicated to everything eco-friendly.
Visit our contact page to get in touch and discover how we can transform your business in 2022.