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Glorious Uses of Sustainability Reports: How a Company’s Report Can Influence Its Messages

PR practitioners can easily use sustainability reports to communicate the value and benefits of their client’s sustainability initiatives. Reports provide statistics, benchmarking and opportunities to set and achieve goals.

Sustainability reports are full of wonderful data and statistics. These numbers provide practitioners with current data and allow for comparative analysis. This information lends itself to messaging full of concrete data.

Equipped with solid facts, PR practitioners can create press releases, factsheets, backgrounders and position papers that impact audiences and provide journalists with valuable information for their coverage.

Another major benefit of sustainability reports is that they provide benchmarking numbers. Benchmarking is when a company compares its practices and policies to those of the highest performing companies in the industry to which the companies belong. This is often done when a company wants to improve its outcome.

Benchmarking can help a company understand that certain areas within its operations may contain room for improvement. The benchmarking can help a practitioner create messaging that contains comparative data and also provide the opportunity to convey a need for improvement to stakeholders who may be doubting investments or initiates.

Opportunities to improve lead a company to opportunities to set and achieve goals for its future. Once a company knows where it stands and where leading companies within the industry stand, attainable goals become more visible.

These goals are good news for PR practitioners because it provides them with a milestone to brag about. The combination of concrete facts, benchmarking statistics and achieved goals creates a reasonably solid and interesting story for a journalist. If a PR practitioner is familiar with his or her client’s sustainability report, then providing journalists with all of the components of that great story is easy and helps them cover your story.

It has been said by many of my professors that helping journalists in such a way is beneficial to the relationship between those journalists and a PR practitioner. I would think you might as well take advantage of that opportunity, and the coverage would be nice too.

Below is a video in which AT&T discusses its sustainability report. It is a great example of how statistics gained through sustainability reporting can be used to convey the need for benefits of and returns on investments from sustainable initiates and practices within a company.

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