Offer a 'positive vision' to get public interested in the environment.

NGOs and politicians must ditch statistics and employ a positive vision to influence consumer attitudes on green issues, according to a soon-to-be-released guidance from Futerra Sustainability.

Townsend: new green energy tsar
Townsend: new green energy tsar

Sell The Sizzle will be launched next week by Solitaire Townsend, co-founder of Futerra Sustainability, who is about to be appointed to lead the Government's new scheme on green energy. The guide has been developed following in-depth research into consumer attitudes towards green issues. It will be launched ahead of critical UN climate talks in Copenhagen on 7-18 December.

The guide argues PR professionals should start with a positive vision to 'win the right to people's attention' and combat apathy. They should also dump statistics that only confuse the public. 'A 20 per cent cut by 2020 isn't a vision - it's a target. Put all the targets together and imagine what the world would be like if we met and exceeded them. That's a vision,' it says.

Townsend told PRWeek: 'The public don't hear stats; they go straight over their heads. People can do money maths about themselves, but often can't process wider numbers.'

She also advised that PROs make messages as relevant to their audience as possible. 'Don't tell people what they need to do in ten years because people don't care. Tell them what to do today,' she said.

The guide states: 'The vision must be as local as possible. Don't describe a vision of a sustainable Delhi when you're in Durban.'

Townsend has been appointed chair of the Green Tariff Certification Scheme, a new initiative that will award green energy plans with a special label if they meet a set of green criteria. The six large energy firms will promote the scheme, which aims to make it easier for consumers to choose environmentally friendly energy plans.

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