The sometimes overlooked role of communications in an ESG effort

Communicators have a broad toolkit for making waves in this crucial area.

ESG comms

The rise of ESG—Environmental, Social and Governance—and the notion of building a sustainable business, is one of the defining business imperatives of the last half decade. It will increase in importance going forward.

At its core it’s an organizational strategy that seeks to align risk mitigation and reputation enhancement with business objectives and performance. Communicators have a major opportunity—and a responsibility—to tell their organization’s ESG story, so it’s important to understand the role.

As it is now, ESG communications is an overlooked part of the communications portfolio, says Sandy Skees, global lead for Porter Novelli’s Purpose + Impact practice. “Businesses are used to providing ongoing communications across owned, earned and paid channels when it comes to business updates, product marketing, brand advertising,” she says. “I call this the ‘Language of Business.’ What’s been missing is a broad communications program that expands this language to include goals, progress, challenges and anecdotes about how a company is operating across its entire ESG continuum.”

[FREE REPORT: Strengthen your knowledge and skill around ESG communications]

The components of ESG communications are the same as any other robust communications program, Skees says. The best practice is to develop an ESG platform that provides a cohesive wrapper and rationale. From there, ESG reports become a moment-in-time look at specific updates on progress against timebound goals.

This is just one of the insights in our exclusive ESG report for members of Ragan’s Communications Council. Get started now by downloading our free ESG communications executive summary.

Among other things, you’ll learn:

  • The powerful impact ESG has had on the C-suite, on boards of directors, and on investors.
  • The initial impetus for ESG in the first decade of this century.
  • How ESG works in action from specific examples.
  • Where ESG fits in the enterprise.
  • The role of ESG-related communications in reputation management.
  • Communications strategies built specifically for ESG.
  • How to measure ESG communications efforts.
  • Where ESG should reside among the array of other communications priorities.

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