How to Launch a Green Platform and Win Stakeholder Confidence

If you’re thinking of launching a green communications platform, make sure to keep multiple stakeholders in mind. Today, green communications must be balanced with the needs of those inside your organization, including employees, and those outside your organization, such as shareholders, NGOs and customers. Some tips on how to balance these needs include:

•    Start by listening. Don’t bombard constituents with messages that are important to you and your organization alone. Audiences will be much more receptive to communications that are relevant and personalized.
•    Consider collaboration. Don’t back your organization up to a wall. Your communications platform will be much more successful if you reach out to NGOs, policymakers and others to form and build relationships. These conversations will allow you to share your point of view and generate new ideas.
•    Involve employees. Employees are your greatest assets in communicating on green issues. Arm employees with information on your green program, so they know exactly where the company stands when it comes to the environment. This is especially important at a time when everyone is using new Web 2.0 technologies such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs.
•    Forget greenwashing. Stakeholders are highly cognizant of green being used as a selling tactic. An organization’s green initiatives should be aligned with their business model and any type of communication should reflect this alignment for increased authenticity.

The article was written by Kathleen Ryan Mufson, who leads the communications platform for Pitney Bowes’s overall corporate citizenship initiatives with a focus on health care, diversity, environmental stewardship, governance and literacy and education.This is excerpted from the upcoming PR News Guide to Best Practices in Corporte Social Responsibility/Green PR, Volume 3. To find out more information about the guidebook or order it, go to