Establish your unique place in the CSR world: Decide what makes your brand and industry unique. What is at your core? Integrate that messaging into your CSR efforts.
Communicate early and often: Invite reporters into the process early and provide periodic updates. They may not write a story each time you talk with them but they will be interested and informed when your product is ready to launch.
Transparency is not an option: Include the regulator community in your process and seek out review and criticism from environmental groups and other NGOs. They will eventually be asked to express a view of your industry’s sustainability efforts and its better to establish a direct line of communication rather than responding through the media after the fact.
Integrate the Index development into your lobby efforts: You’ve already prepared talking points for the media. Now customize those talking points and educate your Government Affairs team and industry executives so they in turn can educate members of Congress about your work. This will enhance your brand on Capitol Hill.
Build unconventional partnerships: Don’t forget about direct communication. Hit the lecture circuit and talk about your initiatives. You will find new sources of collaboration and funding for your work and establish your brand as a leader in the field of sustainability.
Use all the tools at your disposal: Think about what collateral you can develop to enhance your product. Toolkits and webinars are designed to increase adoption of the OIA index. Also look for surrogates to carry your message. What speaking opportunities are forthcoming? How can you craft a message around your annual conference or trade show? Let your executives carry the message for you.
This is excerpted from the upcoming PR News Guide to Best Practices in Green PR/Corporate Social Responsibility, Volume 3. It was written by Amy Roberts, vice president of government affairs for Outdoor Industry Association. To find out more information about the guidebook or order it, go to www.prnewsonline.com/store.