To facilitate policies and campaigns focused on energy, smart companies engaged in the energy policy debate should focus on overcoming three obstacles:
• Keeping your friends while influencing policy. Pushing for policy that helps the bottom line might upset some traditional allies. Find a message and partners that bridge the divide by emphasizing how clean energy creates local economic revitalization. At the same time, build a multisector coalition of unlikely allies to show that compromise and collaboration are the order of the day.
• Stopping the greenwash cycle. Years of phony “green” claims have created cynicism about corporate clean messages. To play a credible policy role, clarify the product’s uniquely clean selling point, its connection to established clean technology or policy and the company’s commitment to broader green issues.
• Making the ask without appearing to need help. How does one ask for supportive policies without looking like you need support? Show how you’re leading the way toward what could be, with an emphasis on how a policy would increase hires and investment, lower prices or help improve American competitiveness. Also emphasize how you’re already getting results – and that policy can extend those results across the country.
This is excerpted from PR News upcoming Guide to Best Practices in Corporate Social Responsibility and CSR, Volume 3. It was written by Jason Miner and Ryan Cunningham who lead the energy and sustainability practice at the Glover Park Group in Washington, DC. To find out how to order the guidebook, go to www.prnewsonline.com/store.