People's attitudes toward the world are changing. Companies now emphasize ESG communication as much as any element of their business strategy, and people are increasingly choosing where to work based on a firm's social responsibility credentials. According to a survey from PwC, companies must engage with ESG issues, or they risk losing investors. Here, we share what ESG communication is and why it's important. We'll explain everything there is to know about ESG communications and provide valuable tips for an effective ESG communications strategy that can get you off the ground.
ESG communication is sharing your company's environmental, social, and governance performance with stakeholders.
It embeds CSR (corporate social responsibility) firmly within the company's operations. It is where you report your activities concerning social responsibility and employee well-being. With concerns about the environment, changing attitudes to work after COVID-19, and personal wellness, ESG communication has never been so important.
Prioritizing ESG is one thing, but you must master your ESG communications to truly stand out. Information can get lost or drowned out in the noise. To effectively communicate your core ESG messages, you need a plan to enhance transparency and engagement. Here are 11 tips to showcase your dedication to ESG.
How will you communicate your message? What will be the theme? It needs to be informative and interesting. Remember, your goal is not just to improve your performance but to inspire others too. Think about tone.
An outreach strategy could be perfect for addressing investor feedback and questions. The media shapes public perceptions. Hence, a strong communications strategy is essential to communicate the company's ESG efforts effectively. Look at what public relations and marketing forms work best for your chosen course.
You should produce a content calendar for ESG. Consistency is key when communicating.
It should include a timeline for reporting and sharing your performance with stakeholders.
Determine who is responsible for the ESG program. They will need access to specific data for analysis, decision-making, and reports. Managers and boards are critical in creating value through ESG strategies. Seek their help and input where needed. Decide on project timelines and responsibilities.
Don't lose sight of costs when planning. Many companies believe integrating sustainability into their mission statements will give them a financial advantage right away. When a company spends more money and human resources than competitors, it may lose profitability. Protecting the environment has costs. Consequently, if a company cannot recover these costs or if the costs do not result in benefits that make their products superior to their competitors, they operate at a cost disadvantage.
A company can lose market share, profits, and sales through these costs if not careful. Pay attention to this.
Companies must collaborate with stakeholders to get the best results and meet their ESG commitments. Your employees are your biggest asset here. With an audience on their social pages, they will have a following in their own right and can promote your ESG program through their socials. Use them to demonstrate the implementation of ESG standards at various levels of the organization.
ESG communication is a collaborative effort involving different departments and stakeholders working together. Investor relations, marketing, and corporate communications should all work together to tell your story to audiences. Strong results can be achieved with interdepartmental work.
People want to find out about your ESG on your website. So don't disappoint them. Share what your values are, your goals, initiatives, and any milestones. Give the why and the how. You can also highlight the impact of your initiatives by including sustainability reports in your ESG story. These reach beyond numbers and show the impact of your policies.
Have you got others on board in your supply chain? Show where and how it's been effective and give facts and figures, demonstrating how it relates to your company objectives. Remember, it's important to be honest and not exaggerate.
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The social media visibility of the business and engagement rates can be significantly increased by running a simple social media campaign to share the benefits of ESG for your business.
You can also weave this in with your product itself. By doing so, the company showcases its ESG credentials and promotes the company. This method is not particularly time-consuming and is financially accessible to startups and smaller businesses.
Get creative, and use technology. Make a video to showcase your ESG updates and achievements. Video is a great place to start to bring your story to life. Putting your ESG story before people as they scroll away on social media or as an autoplay video then they visit your website could be a great idea.
Don't just rely on statements or numbers. It can have real employees or be an animated message that simplifies ESG communications.
This lays out your commitments for all to see. You can also make a separate subsection for your ESG commitments on your website. You can share your experiences here too. It could include reports, case studies of your policies and their implementation, diaries, or blog posts.
Put management in the picture. To achieve maximum visibility, they could give quotes or press releases.
When awards season comes around, gaining recognition from impartial, external organizations can signal to stakeholders that your company is successful at ESG. Awards are also a great way to motivate employees and celebrate their contributions.
Social media can be a great way to show your clients and stakeholders your accomplishments and commitment and motivate employees. It can also be a great way to market yourself to investors.
Greenwashing is making false or exaggerated statements about a company's impact on the environment or measures it has taken to improve sustainability. Greenwashing won't wash with today's audiences. Today's consumers can spot greenwashing a mile away.
Do be genuine when talking about your green credentials. A lot of companies today take a lot from the environment. People have a right to know what's being done about it. Prioritize transparency and don't let them down.
Share your journey, and don't be afraid to ask for tips or questions on LinkedIn. And put your hands up when you get it wrong. Your audience will appreciate the effort and transparency. You won't get everything right the first time. So be prepared to fail.
Take part in ESG exchanges and participate in discussions to learn tips and strategies on how best to improve and harness the power of ESG.
On view is that ESG is becoming more mainstream as companies seek to establish stakeholder trust, attract and retain new customers, and meet regulatory demands in some industries.
In a sign of how important ESG is becoming, companies that can afford to are turning to PR experts to help them handle their ESG communications strategy. A company's first priority is its bottom line, and ESG efforts can strengthen your position over time.
Here we shared many tips on how to get the most out of ESG communications. Still, there are plenty of other tips that can show a deep commitment to sustainability and ethics and showcase that your company is doing the right thing in 2023 and beyond.