Drawing on the resounding success of the Wolf Trap Foundation/Booz Allen Hamilton team’s environmental stewardship campaign, Booz Allen associate Katrina Tavanlar offers the following best practices to communications professionals attempting similar initiatives:
• Seek active and visible leadership support. Internal greening initiatives are more easily accepted by employees when there is leadership supporting, acknowledging and rewarding efforts.
• Go beyond educational campaigns and look at true behaviorial change using social marketing techniques. Education and awareness is the first step to true behaviorial change. The next phase for organizations in meeting environmental and communication goals and objectives is looking at the barriers and incentives for adopting specific environmental behaviors (i.e. increasing recycling, reducing vehicle miles traveled, encouraging use of CFCs). Organizations can look to social marketing techniques to encourage increasing behaviorial change.
• Conduct a thorough assessment in your strategy and planning. Understanding stakeholder needs and preferences is important to communicate to your audience. Doing your research and literature review will help your communications implementation. Engaging your stakeholders in your planning will allow your techniques to be more effective.
• Be fun and creative. Communication messaging and activities must be captivating and persuasive. Use vivid language and a credible source to promote your messages. People like efforts that are fun and creative. Sometimes, environmental messaging can be threatening and negative. This can work in some cases, but much can be said for positive, fun and energetic efforts.