Whether it’s down to regulatory change, greater understanding of the climate crisis, client pressure, recruitment needs or investor questions, PR firms are now frequently being asked to support ESG communications.
In recent months, several meetings with our clients to set up campaigns or messaging workshops have turned to the company’s ESG initiatives or concerns over where to place the resource and emphasis when it comes to environmental, social or governance (ESG) issues.
The Role Of Communicators
For PR and communications, this is a real moment of reckoning. On the one hand, audiences and customers are waking up to the impact and dangers of greenwashing, with PR agencies accused of facilitating or even producing greenwashing, particularly on behalf of fossil fuel clients. On the other hand, professional communicators have exactly the skills needed to support positive corporate change, communicate progressive governance, foster conversations and ignite action.
I have found that businesses welcome the outside perspective a PR agency can provide on ESG issues, particularly when it comes to avoiding groupthink and identifying the “golden nugget” for communications within the myriad issues that ESG covers. We help clients by developing strong sector-specific knowledge but also keep a wider perspective of where we can identify opportunities to advance sustainable practices where there is also a communications win.