Earth Day 2018 is Sunday, April 22. The annual “celebration” brings renewed attention, energy, and commitment to environmental issues – and to ways we, as individuals and organizations, can better safeguard and sustain Earth’s valuable resources. But what does Earth Day, and more specifically corporate social responsibility (CSR), have to do with brand reputation and PR strategy? It turns out, a lot.

According to Nielsen’s Global Corporate Sustainability report, 66 percent of consumers are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand. For millennial consumers specifically, that numbers jumps to 73 percent. And most millennials (81 percent) expect their preferred companies to make public declarations of their corporate citizenship. Simply put, people want the brands they buy from to practice business ethically and sustainably. (Bonus: They’re more likely to want to work with and for them, too.)

This Earth Day – and every day – consider the following ways you can tie your company’s PR strategy to sustainability and drive brand reputation.

Communicate Core Values

What does your brand stand for? Your company’s narrative – told through PR, marketing and sales – should be tied to and clearly communicate those core values. Everything, from events and tradeshows, to blogs, articles and collateral, should speak to how and why your brand does what it does.

Be a Good Neighbor

One of the simplest and most straight-forward PR objectives is to enhance your company’s goodwill with its market. Foster positive rapport with the communities in which you do business, as well as those of your customers. Establish a CSR team or culture/social club to encourage employees to get involved in initiatives that matter. It could be as simple as volunteering at a local soup kitchen or raising money/collecting goods for a neighborhood school. Whatever you do, it should somehow relate back to your brand mission – and it should be ongoing, not one-off.

Foster positive rapport with the communities in which you do business, as well as those of your customers.Click To Tweet

Measure – and Minimize – Environmental Impact

Every company leaves a carbon footprint of some kind, whether it’s from the manufacturing process or the daily operation of corporate headquarters. Look to lessen the impact and share the outcomes internally and externally. Recycle, reduce water usage, limit energy expenditures. Small things can make a big difference – to the environment and to your customers.

Employ Sustainable PR Strategy Practices

Boost the sustainability of your PR and marketing efforts themselves. The ultimate sustainable PR strategy is one that is successful across multiple communications channels. Make it a regular practice to test new platforms and evolve the ways you engage with the ones you already use, whether social media networks or new opportunities for speaking. Remember, it’s not always the “big” opportunities that reap the best rewards. Look closer to home – think regional media or smaller industry events. Measure success on the channels that deliver the most valuable results in terms of strengthening your brand reputation.

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With her combined talents in visual content creation and media relations, Jacqie strives to show AND tell unique narratives with every opportunity. Her experience spans the higher education, healthcare, technology and management sectors. Creative and detail-oriented, Jacqie helps ensure team efficiencies and client results. While she doesn’t own one yet, Jacqie has a passion for dogs, and hopes to one day rescue and train her own four-legged friend.