Going Green with Environmental Public Relations

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Going green started out as trend and has transitioned to a movement. For environmental public relations, this means that every effort is being watched. Most consumers accept going green efforts to be honest, but that does not mean they are not aware of those trying to take advantage and capitalize on the green movement. Greenwashing is the deceptive use of green public relations or green marketing to promote the perception that a company's policies or products are environmentally friendly when they are actually not. New York environmentalist Jay Westerveld coined the term to describe hotels promoting the reuse of towels as “green” when it was merely an attempt to reduce costs. Similarly, the term the green sheen is used to describe organizations that try to show that they are adopting practices beneficial to the environment. Clearly there is a fine line when it comes to green public relations efforts and for environmental public relations, this is even more valid.

Companies and organizations in the environmental sector should proceed with caution in developing green tactics. All efforts should be honest, upfront and beneficial to the environment. That being said, do not be so overly cautious that you are afraid to back up your tactics. Not being bold will guarantee that your competition will surpass you by coming up with their own green tactics. In developing green tactics, consider your audience and what will best speak to them. As a player in the environmental sector, it might be worthwhile to research what others are doing in environmental public relations efforts. It is easy to build off of your competition or use their efforts as a baseline for coming up with your own green tactics. Make sure that each green tactic goes back to your green initiative. If it is going to take more energy and resources than give back, you might consider a different option. Also, align your green initiative with your company or organization. It would be confusing to the public to see a company that is committed to developing energy saving light bulbs, holding community events to save the whales. Both green initiatives are important and worthwhile, but it makes more sense to hold a community event that benefits an energy renewal organization.

When considering all the possibilities of green tactics, focus on being true to your companies green initiatives. Going green should not involve an ulterior motive. Environmental Public Relations is best received from companies and organizations that are sincerely committed to going green.

Kevin Waddel is a free lance writer. To get more information about Public relations, Public Relations New York and Environmental Public Relations visit http://www.makovsky.com

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