Corporations need to re-evaluate their green strategy, taking action first and implementing realistic strategies and then, once successful, communicate the strategies to a broad audience. Only then will they be seen as a trusted and credible source of corporate social responsibility.
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San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) August 1, 2007
Bite Communications today published "Ecological Sustainability: The Dominate Corporate Communications issue of the Decade," a white paper which outlines the new communication challenges and opportunities corporations face addressing sustainability issues presented by a changing environment.
As companies adapt their corporate messaging to address environmental issues, Bite stresses the importance of aligning operations with communications and communications with strategy. Synchronized actions and words create a legitimate and transparent communications platform that will stand up to critical scrutiny by mainstream media and social media alike. For example, a technology company that markets products based environmental benefits—such as low power consumption—is well advised to disclose the environmental footprint of their manufacturing operations, and ideally, announce steps to become environmentally more sustainable.
In the whitepaper, co-authored by George Basile, Ph.D., senior consultant of Bite Communications’ Sustainability Practice and Burghardt Tenderich, Ph.D. general manager of Bite Communications North America, the authors note that over the past 18 months, public opinion and awareness of climate change has evolved so rapidly in the United States that it has now reached a tipping point. Almost unanimously supported by academic research and the global scientific community, the discussion of eco sustainability has eclipsed academic and environmental media, and has penetrated mainstream publications and broadcast worldwide.
“Over the past two years with the explosion of social media, companies begin to understand that they can no longer tightly control messages,” said Burghardt Tenderich. “As the media continue to be extremely skeptical about corporations’ CSR and eco sustainability initiatives, it has become absolutely necessary that corporations must be as transparent as possible when communicating ‘green’ strategies and initiatives.”
The need for corporations to recognize that the playing field has rapidly and permanently shifted is extremely vital to the company’s viability and success. This requires a new strategy and engagement model built on key principles, including:
- Transparency—Everyone can see in, so there is no longer an “out”
- Authenticity—Actions and communications must be in alignment and must be credible
- Knowledge and Expertise--Understanding the new global reality and matching actions to commitments and communications to both. Without this knowledge, you can only be authentic about being ignorant.
- Engagement, Dialogue and Partnership—Because of the complexity of the system, businesses need to engage in transparent and authentic discussions with their customers and their critics alike. Conversations and storytelling are becoming the new communications medium.
- Gaining Trust— In the end, the new reality is calling upon businesses to take action in uncharted waters. To succeed businesses and business leaders will have to build the trust that is required to support the mistakes they will inevitably make.
“As corporations push to be seen as environmentally conscious, the media is becoming increasingly resistant and skeptical, hence the new term ‘green washing’ which is steadily making its way into the media’s vernacular” said George Basile. “Corporations need to re-evaluate their green strategy, taking action first and implementing realistic strategies and then, once successful, communicate the strategies to a broad audience. Only then will they be seen as a trusted and credible source of corporate social responsibility.”
About Bite Communications
Bite Communications (http://www.bitepr.com), a subsidiary of the Next Fifteen Communications Group, is a 190-person strong communications consultancy with offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Stockholm Hong Kong and Beijing. As a leading technology consultancy, Bite has been recognized as a pioneer in the emerging social media space. Bite has a designated practice for clean technology and sustainability issues that melds operational expertise with communications know-how. Bite is currently working with established technology firms, as well as with renewable energy companies, and other emerging firms in the clean tech and green products space.
For more information, please visit Bite’s blog, "bitemarks."
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