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How to Save the World
Unformatted Document Text:  5 Finally, some “environmental” organizations are not what they seem. Front groups accused of posing as environmentally conscious entities have sprung up with increased frequency in recent decades. These groups, according to the environmental activists, publicize themselves as environmentally conscious when, in fact, they have separate interests in mind. According to World Watch (1999): There are now hundreds of such groups grading on the good reputation NGOs have earned. They have names like the National Wetlands Coalition (which represents developers who would like to fill in more wetlands for building sites); People for the West! (funded and controlled by mining and logging companies); and Consumer Alert (an industry front group that fights product safety regulations). As a whole, the public relations processes in the environmental nonprofit requires sensitivity to unique publics, a respect for the organization’s mission, an awareness of established principles of management and business, effective media relations in a highly competitive environment, and the ability to work effectively with resource development and voluntary staffing issues. Methodology We conducted in-person interviews with nine Boston-based and six London-based environmental organizations. Each agency met the following criteria: non-profit status; an office in either Boston or London; and a primary focus on conservation, preservation, and/or protection of the environment. The Interviews There is limited information on the subject of public relations practices associated with non-profit environmental organizations so first-person interviews were conducted. A dialogue with interviewees in their places of businesses – in their natural situations − revealed the nuances of meaning from which their personal perspectives and definitions are continually forged. (Marriam, 2002) Onsite interviews enabled us to note the organizations’ work environment, meet co- workers, collect printed information (press-kits, brochures, newsletters), and note the informative mannerisms and conviction of the interview participants. Data gleaned from surveys would not have allowed us to establish a rapport with the respondents and gain their trust − factors we deemed crucial to the success of the study. Contact was established with each organization via email, followed up one week later with a phone call, if necessary. Approximately 35

Authors: Nordhoff, Andrew. and Downes, Edward.
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5
Finally, some “environmental” organizations are not what they seem. Front groups accused of
posing as environmentally conscious entities have sprung up with increased frequency in recent
decades. These groups, according to the environmental activists, publicize themselves as
environmentally conscious when, in fact, they have separate interests in mind. According to
World Watch (1999):
There are now hundreds of such groups grading on the good reputation NGOs have
earned. They have names like the National Wetlands Coalition (which represents
developers who would like to fill in more wetlands for building sites); People for the
West! (funded and controlled by mining and logging companies); and Consumer Alert
(an industry front group that fights product safety regulations).
As a whole, the public relations processes in the environmental nonprofit requires sensitivity to
unique publics, a respect for the organization’s mission, an awareness of established principles of
management and business, effective media relations in a highly competitive environment, and the
ability to work effectively with resource development and voluntary staffing issues.
Methodology
We conducted in-person interviews with nine Boston-based and six London-based environmental
organizations. Each agency met the following criteria: non-profit status; an office in either
Boston or London; and a primary focus on conservation, preservation, and/or protection of the
environment.
The Interviews
There is limited information on the subject of public relations practices associated with non-profit
environmental organizations so first-person interviews were conducted. A dialogue with
interviewees in their places of businesses – in their natural situations
revealed the nuances of
meaning from which their personal perspectives and definitions are continually forged. (Marriam,
2002) Onsite interviews enabled us to note the organizations’ work environment, meet co-
workers, collect printed information (press-kits, brochures, newsletters), and note the informative
mannerisms and conviction of the interview participants. Data gleaned from surveys would not
have allowed us to establish a rapport with the respondents and gain their trust
factors we
deemed crucial to the success of the study. Contact was established with each organization via
email, followed up one week later with a phone call, if necessary. Approximately 35


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