Spearheading the fast growing 'green' trend in the local public relations industry is Angela Barter from @ Communications, who introduced Green PR more than two years ago as a specialised service under the company's brand.
The success of this approach has prompted Barter to launch a dedicated division that will specialise in providing advanced public relations services for green, organic and sustainable organisations.
Green PR is about enhancing the reputation and branding of companies who are making a difference - it is not a 'spin'. So, a strong element of integrity is required to make Green PR work - not just for the clients, but also for the PR agency, the media and the consumers. PR companies have a responsibility to ensure their messages are based in truth and communicated with sincerity, and that the importance of eco-friendly activities and sustainability initiatives - and its power to really make a difference - is not undermined by 'greenwashing' and 'spin-doctoring'.
Effective green PR also requires expertise and experience and demands strong guidelines are in place, based on a solid understanding of classic PR success factors, winning strategies for effective social media and online PR and a thorough understanding of the socio, economic and financial sustainability factors driving the green revolution.
"It is crucial, therefore, when planning to leverage your sustainability efforts through PR communications that you choose your PR partner wisely," advises Barter.
She believes that PR practitioners wield immense power to change perceptions, attitudes and mind-sets when it comes to sustainable choices - not only among members of the media, but also among their clients and the consumers who read their PR messages in the media.
"This power must be used wisely and correctly - not simply to add a new spin on tired press releases, but to make a difference. To achieve this, you need practitioners acting with integrity, guiding their clients and their agencies to ensure that what they are communicating is for the good of the planet, for the people and then for the company's profit," she concludes.
For more, go to www.communicationspr.co.za