As companies adapt their corporate messaging to address environmental issues, 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, according to a new white paper, Ecological Sustainability: The Dominate Corporate Communications issue of the Decade (PDF), from Bite Communications.
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.
“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, general manager of Bite Communications North America. “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, according to Bite, 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.