Friday, March 4, 2011

Green Public Relations

Green PR is on the rise to address increased public scrutiny, media attention, environmental concerns and government intervention. Green PR is about environmental sustainability, in other words, maintaining the factors and practices that contribute to the quality of the environment on a long-term basis.

In November 2007, the Federal Trade Commission fast-tracked its review of green marketing regulations which had not been updated since 1998. In 2010 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed revising those guidelines to help companies avoid making misleading environmental claims.FTC green marketing guidelines are in the interest of both businesses and consumers. Consumers get products that live up to their environmental claims and businesses minimize their risk by making accurate green claims consistent with FTC guidelines. However, the perception of inappropriate or inaccurate green claims can occur due to poorly organized PR efforts. Poor PR can mean that even companies that are serious about their sustainability goals can be accused of greenwashing. Examples of good PR initiatives include GE's Ecomagination and Wal-Mart's Sustainability 360.

Thankfully green PR is increasingly receiving the attention it deserves. A good illustration of this effort comes from the Professional Development Luncheon by the Phoenix Chapter of PRSA. This event will be held on Wednesday, March 16, 2011, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., it will bring together a panel of local environmental and sustainability experts to discuss the ever-changing meaning of being green and how it relates to PR practices.

The panel will discuss:
-How to differentiate your organization or client from the rest of the green market.
-Consumer trends towards sustainable products and services.
-Social responsibility, greenwashing and green marketing.
-What metrics can PR pros use to measure sustainability practices.
-How do these measures translate into bottom-line customers or dollars for organizations.

Click here to register (Online registration deadline is March 14).

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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