Continuing along on our discovery of sustainability…let’s take a look at the five pillars of creating sustainable communications.
Credibility: As a high school teacher (a fan of double-knit poly pants suits…hmmm) used to say, Cut the crap.
Sustainable communications get down to it and are based on technology-enabled data. Think substance over style. There’s no place to hide…no excuses. Reaching out to customers and prospects needs to be based on credible, verifiable facts and opportunities. And that means no hedging on claims about your product’s green CV. The truth will set you free.
Clarity: Authentic, clear messaging wins. Don’t assume customers and prospects have gone all Al Gore on the details of eco-friendliness and the environment. What does the whole carbon footprint thing really mean? Make sure you’re being concise and genuine. The other big word is “transparency.” This connotes trust. Sourcing needs to be impeccable when making claims and educating consumers.
Consistency: Your entire organization needs to get on message, and more importantly, in line business-wise vis à vis sustainability. What you say in communications out front should be applied at the back of the office, too. It’s a systematic, business-discipline movement versus a single campaign. Before you put it out there, make certain you’ve created a dedication within your company.
Conversation: Old school: one-way narrative from brands. Now: two-way conversation. Tap the interactive potential of the internet to engage your critics as well as allow your fans to get penetration into the blogosphere and create a clear call to action for your consumers.
Cost: This is not necessarily $$$$. But certainly that’s a factor. Responsible costing is critical. But what’s also essential is an analysis of cost to the planet of your communications plan. If you’ve tak
en down a third of a forest this year in print, nothing you say about being green will make an iota of sense to consumers. Not to say move all com online, but consider reducing that pr int commitment where it makes marketing sense. And if you do print, use recyclable stock.
Bottom line: What you do is more important than what you say.
Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn