One size does not fit all for environmental efforts

PRWeek, among other publications, has noticed a significant increase in interest in sustainability by both consumers and corporate America.

PRWeek, among other publications, has noticed a significant increase in interest in sustainability by both consumers and corporate America.

While debate remains whether environmental concerns will continue to get significant traction, companies - and their PR professionals - are acting now and starting to speak loudly and carry a (biodegradable) stick.

Our goal for this issue was to highlight a number of companies, organizations, and industries tackling their own unique approaches to sustainability and other issues. To provide an example of the difference: Our News Analysis deals with the opportunity for organic companies to highlight their wares in the wake of recall issues with traditional manufacturers, and our main Campaign follows Travelocity's carbon offsets program.

We consider this issue especially important because no template exists that will apply to both small and large organizations. As such, we will continue to follow the space so we can educate our readers about how the confluence of consumer preferences, geopolitical clashes, domestic policies, and economic efficiencies will dictate what remains relevant.

Trying to be green is far from easy, and it requires nothing short of a sustained effort to get there - and to prove it to a skeptical audience. Organizations that succeed in approaching sustainability, maintain the quality of their wares, and communicate it in an understandable way will reap the benefits of an engaged populace.

We all know the most important step the profession can take is to continue to show how PR directly affects the business operation of companies or clients. We also know, per studies and anecdotal evidence, that consumers are confused about the variety of purportedly eco-friendly options available. Sustainability could prove to be the communications ROI that everyone in the industry has anticipated for years.

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