My most recent posts for Environmental Design + Construction magazine’s Green Communications blog address two basic, yet critical communications tenets: listening and clarity. Please add your comments.
Archive for the ‘Grammar of Green’ Category
Think before your speak. This childhood adage serves me well as a communications professional.
In films “Did I say that out loud?” may get a laugh. Not so much in the business world when the words are instantly blared via multiple channels—tweets, emails, images and posts. The consequences can be costly.
Starting smart, rather than losing time and dollars attempting to correct mistakes in the flood of information is worth the effort. Message mapping is a valuable exercise. Take the time to deliberately consider your objectives, audience, and language. What do you want to accomplish?
What are your objectives?
Fuzzy objectives do not lead anywhere useful or build the foundation for a compelling story. Consider the purpose.
Inform the audience?
Launch a new service or product?
Demonstrate thought leadership?
Differentiate your offering from the competition?
Challenge the status quo?
What do you know about your audience?
The more you understand your audience, the more effective message development and channel selection will be. Professional organizations, third party partnerships, industry events and trade publications are good resources for B2B outreach. Aligning channels and audience ensures that format and language support objectives.
What are credible sources of information on this subject for the target group?
What channels are most effective?
What holds the attention of the audience?
What motivates them to act?
Are the benefits clearly and simply stated?
Is your story relevant?
Do you open a conversation that respects the audience?
Does your language align the objective, audience and selected channels?
Word choice and arrangement form a potent pair. A message developed to build visibility may not generate sales. A pithy tweet may lead to a very technical white paper.
Is the message memorable?
Are the words chosen the best for this story?
Is the language familiar to the audience? Is the syntax correctly applied?
Do the words distinguish the products or services from competitors?
Do the visuals complement the language?
Have you tested the message on impartial ears and eyes?
The fall trade show season and 2012 communications plans are around the corner. To stand out from the crowd, rely on clarity, consistency, and transparency when delivering green messages. Please share examples that work or fail from your reading, online journeys and industry adventures.
Published: http://www.edcmag.com/blogs/14/post/grammar-of-green-communications-think-before-you-speak and http://www.sustainablefacility.com/articles/87443-sustainable-facility-blog-2011-08-15-grammar-of-green-communications-think-before-you-speak
It’s time to start thinking about your company’s Greenbuild presence, check this blog post from ED+C magazine for tips on how to walk the green talk. What is your company doing to tell your green story at Greenbuild?
And don’t forget, with Greenbuild in Toronto this year, US residents will need a valid passport to attend, be sure yours is up to date.
Green Earth PR Network’s own Louise Mulherin has contributed a blog post to ED&C magazine‘s site, just in time for summer trade show season and the big daddy of the commercial interiors world, Neocon. Here are her tips for thoughtful trade show participation and attendance:
And, don’t forget that Green Earth PR offers CONNECT, a web-based subscription database of the best events in the B2B green/sustainability/corporate social responsibility space!
We take for granted that our modern business world operates 24/7. Personal and work-related calls intersect on cell phones along with texts, tweets, emails and more.
While caller ID can be a life saver, we occasionally ignore technology only to receive a gentle reproach from friends or family expecting a more personal greeting. This predictable exchange is a reminder of a basic tenet of all communications and especially green conversations—know your audience.
Most of you reading this post spend a portion of each day reading updates and exchanging ideas around environmental, social and economic issues. It can be a shock to realize that we have co-workers and neighbors who have never heard the phrase Triple Bottom Line or greenwashing. Seriously, and they are not hermits.
Although it seems elementary, remember talking above or down to your audience will not serve your message or produce the desired call to action. The value of your knowledge and expertise is multiplied when you have the capacity to share information effectively. Even within the green community, designers have concerns that vary from facility managers. A healthcare industry group may offer questions on a different path from hospitality or higher education.
If you want to motivate or educate your readers, listeners, family, friends or followers, here are five tips for green communicators:
- Convey points in a manner that has value for the audience. What do they expect from you?
- Offer facts that they can use in a way that they will remember. When appropriate, use humor and personal experiences. For example, what was the first item you recycled?
- Determine in advance whether the conversation will operate in the same or similar shades of green. Where is your audience on the path to sustainability? The metrics may be determined by passion, experience or shared goals. What is the key take-away and have you presented it effectively?
- Use simple clean language to reduce confusion. We all use jargon. If in doubt, test your draft for a fresh perspective. Recognize that their baseline may be misinformation.
- Be authentic and transparent.
Do you have green communication examples that would end tree planting on the low end or create a forest on the high end? Please share.
Networking, product launches, expert positioning, competitive analysis — all are great reasons to think about attending a trade show. But when does it pay to exhibit? Here’s a great piece from BusinessWeek Small Biz. The ideas really apply to any size company.
CONNECT, the event management tool from Green Earth PR Network, provides a great overview of the sustainability and green business space, and is an intuitive and easy-to-use tool that helps you evaluate and develop your trade show/event calendar. We’re offering a one-year subscription for $595. Contact us for an online demo!
From the article, “Although webinars and virtual online trade shows have become popular in recent years, and serve a marketing purpose, they are not replacements for face-to-face events … “
This April story from New York Times talks about ‘green fatigue,’ particularly in the relatively higher priced category of household cleaners. The conclusion seems to be that consumer won’t pay more for green products during a recession, but I suspect it is a little more complicated. Speaking purely as a consumer, I’m more brand loyal to companies that have sustainability in their DNA – like Method, Mrs. Meyer’s, and Seventh Generation — to me, those products perform better and are more in line with my family’s lifestyle. What do you think?
Global Green Marketing Market to Reach $3.5 Trillion by 2017, According to a New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.by Lisa Lilienthal on May 3rd, 2011
This is an interesting report on the size and scope of “green marketing” activities, which contradicts some of the ‘green fatigue’ press we’ve seen lately. Are your clients putting more or less of their budgets towards ‘green’ marketing, or as is the case with mine, is ‘green’ implicit in everything they do?