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Thank You to David Day from ithinkbigger.com for Featuring Valerie Jennings’ article: Promoting a Green Brand

Posted By: Jamie Sutera, VP of R&D

Thank you to David Day from ithinkbigger.com for featuring Valerie Jennings’, CEO of Jennings Social Media & MarTech, article: Promoting a Green Brand.


Promoting Green Brands

How to drive a key message without greenwashing.
By Valerie Jennings

Most businesses that are focused on sustainability are doing the right thing for the right reason. These businesses also want to share their efforts with consumers without looking too self-promotional.

In April 2008, a corporate sustainability study sought to determine the greenest eco blogs, websites and other social networks.

The research scored more than 100 green websites for recommendations on which blogs, websites and other communities were the “darkest to lightest” green. This scoring model is not new. In fact, in 2008, Experian announced the greenest (most committed to the environment) to the brownest (very little concern for the planet) consumer markets.

Both of these projects required reviewing corporate green behaviors, attitudes and other forms of promotion to get the word out that green was important to companies. The lessons learned through these types of studies by national brands and large corporations can be applied by small businesses in promoting their own green efforts.

Key Lessons in Marketing Your Greenness

-Be truthful, and you don’t have to worry about greenwashing (i.e., making misleading claims or promoting superficial environmental efforts). Use disclaimers, be honest and   use your brand to advance education, awareness, media exposure and promotions. -Use social media to promote green messages, connect with green bloggers, tweeples, social networks and press.
-Reach out to the Earth Day Network.
-Marketwire, a PR distribution platform, works. Green reporters research subject matter experts online for article sources. Use this tool to connect.
-Measure success via Google search results, media coverage, Twitter followers, blog traffic, contests, Web video views, Facebook likes, e-mail opt-ins and leads.
-Reach out to green bloggers who are appropriate for your brand. The most green or most liberal environmentalists may not want to hear about a medium-green product,     company, service or expert.
-Stay focused on where the key listeners are around the product. Use blog or PR research to speak with the appropriate reporters and engage the right community.

Learn from the ‘Big Guys’

Proctor & Gamble has made a continuing commitment to greening its corporation. Its website has a long list of eco goals, but the reporting is still lax, difficult to read and challenging to evaluate.

The best online green results from a major brand, on the other hand, are from Coke. At a green conference several years ago, a presentation by Coke’s VP of marketing was packed with data, published timelines to make an impact on cutting back on Coke’s water usage in developing countries, information on their execution plan and ways they were working to get the plan moving. Coke’s website still has the goals published, and the results from the past few years are available. Go Coke! It appears Coke has decreased its water usage every year since it launched its sustainability plan.

Follow Coke’s example and share your green goals, timelines and progress with consumers by posting on your website. Promoting your green efforts is another way to differentiate your company from the competition.

Valerie Jennings is CEO and founder of Jennings Social Media & MarTech, a full service company that utilizes the art of online storytelling with the science of measuring quantifiable results. [email protected] // Twitter: @valeriejennings //www.facebook.com/jenningssocialmedia //www.linkedin.com/in/jenningspr

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