Apr 18, 2024 / by Andrew Bavelock

What did your company do for Earth Day 2024 (April 22) last week? 

Maybe you held several activities as part of a large campaign, or maybe you’re just starting to incorporate sustainability into your brand’s storytelling. Either way, every April is a good chance to consider what your brand is doing for the environment, so here are a few tried-and-true ways to stay impactful and relevant in your communications around sustainability.

Struggling with how to approach ESG communications? Reach out to Cision PR Newswire’s Communications Strategy Consultancy for help! [email protected]


Tip 1: Establish a frame of reference 

What’s the standard for ESG comms in my industry?

Let’s face it — us PR and communications professionals know the value of sustainability! The challenge is that a lot of us rely on other departments or management for implementation.

Whether building a case for your company to start doing its part or just tracking what’s happening externally, first thing’s first — what are other companies in my industry doing in sustainability? Getting the lay of the land and setting a benchmark initially is crucial, both for you as a comms pro and for internal stakeholders. 

To start, here are a few key questions to answer about your industry:

  • Are carbon reduction goals common, and what are they?
  • Is the focus on broader greenhouse gas emissions, or solely carbon?
  • Do many brands have recycling programs?
  • How are my competitors communicating on sustainability?

Beyond PR, the answers to these questions are enormously useful for leadership and operations to know — but are bound to pay off in the end for the brand’s reputation! To answer them with actionable intel, a media monitoring tool like Cision Communications Cloud® is the perfect way to audit your competitors and industry. It can also help with learning what will interest journalists the most on a specific sustainability-related topic.


Tip 2: Stick out, don’t follow the crowd

What should I talk about?

Knowing the landscape is the first step. Now take that standard to establish a benchmark for your industry — then do better. What sticks out as ambitious or a “first” is much more likely to make news than following the herd.

A few pointers:

  • Actions speak louder than words: Lofty rhetoric about values without hard commitments or action doesn’t mean much. It’s best to stay concrete and specific while showing how your company is addressing a particular environmental problem. 
  • Avoid greenwashing:  Truth and transparency are key parts of PR, and ESG comms are no different. Journalists can and will see through misleading claims. (Pro Tip: Be extra careful around carbon offsetting, as some offsets have been shown to be dubious.)

When you’ve got some good news to share, like a significant achievement or new commitment, sending it out on a wire like PR Newswire is a great way to ensure it has a broad impact.

Pro Tip: Show AND tell — pair your press release with videos and images to help add context and maximize engagement!


Tip 3: Listen and learn

How do I measure progress?

As you tell your story in various ways, it’s important to track how the media and target audiences respond to your company’s sustainability journey, while continuously optimizing based on responses. A media monitoring tool such as the Cision Communications Cloud® can be quite powerful in tracking impact of sustainability comms, especially for analyzing media coverage, sentiment, and other parameters. 


Regardless of your industry, approaching ESG comms by auditing your industry, aiming to stand out through innovation, and continuously monitoring and improving are surefire ways to boost effectiveness.

Get in touch with the APAC Communications Strategy Consultancy for help: [email protected]

About Andrew Bavelock

Based in Taiwan, Andrew Bavelock is a Senior Communications Strategy Consultant at Cision PR Newswire with over 8 years of experience across various communications roles. His interests and expertise cover tech, politics, sustainability and ESG, education and logistics.