How to Introduce Public Relations Sustainability into Your Brand or PR Agency

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Your client is devoted to sustainability and follows the latest trends in corporate responsibility – and you have no idea how to bring those sustainable business practices into the spotlight. Or – the client doesn’t want to act sustainably, and you don’t know how to persuade him to incorporate it into strategy.

Which of these stories is about you?

No matter the situation, we’re about to answer your questions right away.

And when you’re ready, create your sustainability story easier with Prowly’s AI Press Release Creator and show it to the world.

What does Public Relations sustainability mean?

Public relations sustainability means using sustainability principles in PR communications strategies, be it an agency doing PR work for a client or a brand doing it for themselves.

It’s a broader set of strategies that allows brands to be recognized as sustainable, eco-friendly, and socially aware.

👉🏼 For example, if a company decides to stop using plastic straws in its chain of fast food restaurants, this could be a simple CSR campaign as well as a set of sustainable business practices. 

When you add public relations to the mix, this means creating press releases, social media campaigns, and a wide range of content formats to make sure that the chain of restaurants is perceived as eco-friendly by customers, investors, and the broader public.

And then, you can put all of your sustainability PR materials online in one place, to help journalists publish the story.

How does PR sustainability differ from ESG, CSR and greenwashing

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), and greenwashing are three common terms that are often confused in PR contexts.

Here’s what they mean exactly and how you should use them:

PR sustainability vs. greenwashing

PR sustainability entails that a brand is actually doing something to become more sustainable.

For example, reducing their carbon footprint, recycling materials, saving on electrical energy, and others.

Greenwashing is when a company does not do any of these things but uses PR to show itself in a positive light. In other words, they may not actually be recycling materials but they will create PR campaigns to say that they do.

For a brand’s image, PR sustainability makes all the difference while greenwashing is a short-term publicity stunt that often does more harm than good. And it is a lie.

P.S. If your client or brand is all about true sustainability, you have to make the first move to let the world know about it. Craft a press release about it manually or with AI Press Release Creator. No matter the way – you can do it all in Prowly.

CSR vs. ESG activities

To help you prepare better sustainability PR campaigns for your brand or clients, let’s make another distinction between these important terms.

ESG focuses on the three main factors for measuring sustainability and the ethical impacts of how a business invests its money.

As such, it’s primarily important for investors and financial stakeholders.

CSR is broader and includes all the voluntary actions of a company when it comes to taking responsibility for their impact on society and the environment as a whole.

It goes beyond the legal obligations of a company as an entity. 

As such, CSR is important for the broader public as a framework for corporate responsibility. Here is a good example on how to communicate CSR initiatives to the public.

Why does sustainability matter to PR agencies?

As consumer preferences shift and change, PR agencies need to be aware of sustainability trends. Even more so, they should be educated on the topic and guide their clients on how to take a stand on PR topics and present themselves to the public.

Here is why sustainability is becoming an increasingly important topic for PR agencies and their clients.

1️⃣ Reputation management

PR agencies should set up transparent communication about the sustainability practices in their clients’ companies so they can build trust and credibility with customers, partners, employees, the media and the broader public.

2️⃣ Consumer expectations

Today’s consumers expect brands to care about sustainability and take a stance on important topics such as pollution prevention or water conservation. It is up to the PR agencies to help brands align with these customer expectations and inspire them to take on new sustainable activities.

3️⃣ Crisis management

When things go south, PR agencies should come up with sustainable PR campaigns to help their clients not only save face but show their commitment to sustainability as a company value.

4️⃣ Media relations

Media outlets pay attention to the attitude that brands have on sustainability and it’s common for journalists to cover these stories in their day-to-day jobs. A PR company can help set up foundations and create sustainability PR campaigns.

5️⃣ Stakeholder engagement

Sustainability is not just about environmental practices, but encompasses a broader commitment to stakeholders, including employees, communities, and investors. PR agencies play a key role in facilitating transparent communication with these stakeholders

6️⃣ Differentiation and competitive advantage

If your client is in an industry where it is hard to stand out based on features, pricing, innovation or customer experience, sustainability may be the differentiating factor that helps them win new business.

7️⃣ Investor relations

Investors may be more likely to trust and spend money on companies that have long-term plans around sustainability. It is up to the sustainability PR agency to create this trust.

8️⃣ Employee relations

Sustainability public relations can help boost your client’s employer brand and make them a more desirable employer in the eyes of candidates. In a competitive market, sustainability is important as a way to stand out and get the best candidates on the job market.

9️⃣ Regulatory compliance

Having policies on sustainability might be required by the law for clients working in certain fields or industries. Sustainability PR can be a great first step in that direction.

13 reasons to introduce sustainability into your clients’ brands

If you already manage a portfolio of clients, you may be wondering if it makes sense to pay attention to sustainable PR. It’s important to bear in mind that sustainability is not just a moral or ethical imperative – despite studies showing that CSR initiatives are slowing down, it’s become a necessity for modern businesses that want to thrive.

#1 Consumer expectations

Younger generations such as Gen Z expect brands to be dedicated to sustainability. In fact, research shows that 90% of Gen Z make changes to their daily lives to live in a more sustainable way.

#2 Competitive advantage

When your competitors have a better product, more affordable pricing, or better brand presence, sustainability PR campaigns can help you stand out so you can kill two birds with one stone.

#3 Regulatory compliance

There is a good chance that your clients’ local, federal, or country laws have a word or two about sustainability for their industries. By investing in sustainability PR, you can help your clients stay compliant and avoid hefty fines.

#4 Risk mitigation

You lower the chance of your client receiving negative PR at some point in the future as you’re helping them address those issues ahead of time.

#5 Employee engagement and talent attraction

People want to work for companies that share their values. Sustainability can be a huge asset for winning over great job applicants.

#6 Long-term viability

Sustainability PR helps your clients’ brands in the long run, as opposed to short-lived PR campaigns around launches and similar events.

#7 Investor confidence

As investors know that your client is devoted to sustainability, they are more likely to spend more money with them.

#8 A long-term rise in recognition

Marketing and (most) PR campaigns are short-lived, while sustainability public relations campaigns make a long-lasting impact on your client’s brand.

#9 Increased website traffic

Besides journalists, your potential customers will want to learn more about your clients’ businesses. This means more traffic to your clients’ websites and, potentially, more conversions.

#10 Brand loyalty

There are very few customers who will leave your clients behind because of their commitment to sustainability. There are, however, many more who will remain customers because they share common values with your clients.

#11 Heightened social interactions

Your clients can expect more engagement on social media thanks to their interest and dedication to sustainable PR.

#12 A larger share of voice

With sustainability public relations, your clients can stand out in competitive industries without spending tons of cash on expensive campaigns.

#13 Greater media coverage 

With a higher focus on sustainable PR, your clients are more likely to get picked up by news outlets, magazines, bloggers, and content creators.

To gain coverage you can use PR newswires, media pitching and…

Use your owned channels. Share the most important client PR materials in their own Online Newsrooms.

Get your clients noticed with compelling press releases

Are your clients are investing time and money in sustainability? It’s hight time to show this to the world.

The first step is creating an amazing press release. With Prowly, you can create one in minutes.

You can go with one of three ways 👇🏼

Option A:

Write a press release from scratch, using intuitive blocks that suggest what you should write and format it automatically.

Option B:

Use one of the handy templates for various industries.

Option C:

Let AI help you create a press release draft. After that, you just need to tweak it, adjust it and make the final touches.

If you go for the third option (which can save you time and writer’s block frustration) you don’t need to write anything from scratch. Simply load up the AI Press Release Creator and answer the questions to generate your first draft full of detailed information. Wait just a moment and your press release is almost done!

And if you want to keep your clients’ press releases, logos, fact sheets, and other information in one place, you can use Online Newsroom to communicate your CSR activities.

Wrapping up

Having said all of this, it is important to note that there is a significant drop in corporate social responsibility activities in different industries. As a global crisis is ongoing, many clients see CSR as something that is nice to have rather than a necessity.

However to be on top, it’s better to oversee the changes and do things that can make you a leader in a long run. So don’t neglect the CSR importance based just on 2024 trends.

Once you’re done, it’s time to start creating and promoting your press releases to get your sustainability initiatives seen.

And with Prowly, you get all the tools to create amazing press releases, pitch them to journalists, and create amazing newsrooms for your clients or brand.