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How to Save the World
Unformatted Document Text:  14 The findings show that while the emboldened corporate conscience has been met with a healthy dose of skepticism, there is reason to celebrate this welcome trend. As an interviewee from a group in London focused on native plants said, “They have so much money that is nice to be included on their list of beneficiaries for once. I hope it lasts.” And the Award Goes To… A factor that may put one organization ahead of another in corporate courting attempts lies in the area of awards and recognition. Corporations relish pointing out concrete achievements in their annual reports, such as a “27% increase in share holdings” or “14 new products develop within the past year.” As one PR expert stated in an interview, “We have found that in their annual report to stockholders, they would rather mention receiving the Award for the Most Environmental Corporation in the greater London area in 2002, than simply extol the tens of thousands of dollars they doled out to needy organizations.” To what degree are your PR programs proactive? Public relations, while regarded with some suspicion in the corporate arena, has enjoyed a less tarnished image within the environmental movement. The act of managing the public’s perceptions and building relationships is inherent in the efforts of environmental agencies across the globe. Although every organization interviewed in this study stated that yes, it is a huge proponent of PR, few wistfully admitted that it would be great to have more energy spent to keep its PR efforts constant and consistent. Many traditional PR duties are split between the media coordinator, communications director, event planner, and anyone else who has a few minutes to spare. When even multimillion dollar corporations have trouble legitimizing the existence of public relations personnel on the payroll, it is no surprise that cash-strapped non-profits have similar woes. The staff of one participating organization is so large (400 in Europe) that it has had the luxury of training several spokespeople to respond to questions concerning individual campaigns. So, while the spokesperson on endangered species is an acknowledged expert in that field, another spokesperson should be contacted on the group’s stance on air pollution. The agency does not have the common problem on conflicting messages coming from the same organization.

Authors: Nordhoff, Andrew. and Downes, Edward.
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14
The findings show that while the emboldened corporate conscience has been met with a healthy
dose of skepticism, there is reason to celebrate this welcome trend. As an interviewee from a
group in London focused on native plants said, “They have so much money that is nice to be
included on their list of beneficiaries for once. I hope it lasts.”
And the Award Goes To…
A factor that may put one organization ahead of another in corporate courting attempts lies in the
area of awards and recognition. Corporations relish pointing out concrete achievements in their
annual reports, such as a “27% increase in share holdings” or “14 new products develop within
the past year.” As one PR expert stated in an interview, “We have found that in their annual
report to stockholders, they would rather mention receiving the Award for the Most
Environmental Corporation in the greater London area in 2002, than simply extol the tens of
thousands of dollars they doled out to needy organizations.”
To what degree are your PR programs proactive?
Public relations, while regarded with some suspicion in the corporate arena, has enjoyed a less
tarnished image within the environmental movement. The act of managing the public’s
perceptions and building relationships is inherent in the efforts of environmental agencies across
the globe. Although every organization interviewed in this study stated that yes, it is a huge
proponent of PR, few wistfully admitted that it would be great to have more energy spent to keep
its PR efforts constant and consistent. Many traditional PR duties are split between the media
coordinator, communications director, event planner, and anyone else who has a few minutes to
spare. When even multimillion dollar corporations have trouble legitimizing the existence of
public relations personnel on the payroll, it is no surprise that cash-strapped non-profits have
similar woes.
The staff of one participating organization is so large (400 in Europe) that it has had the luxury of
training several spokespeople to respond to questions concerning individual campaigns. So,
while the spokesperson on endangered species is an acknowledged expert in that field, another
spokesperson should be contacted on the group’s stance on air pollution. The agency does not
have the common problem on conflicting messages coming from the same organization.


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