PR Strategy: Do Actions Match Press Releases?

Governments and companies are jostling for position in the areas of corporate social responsibility, clean energy, and green.  Visionary players rightfully recognize the urgent need to clean up the environment, reduce oil dependency, and create a sustainable future for the rising generation. Savvy investors are pouring billions into companies and states that are serious about eco-innovation. In their haste though we’ve seen greenwashing and unmet expectations as organizations and their spokespersons rush to the press conference without the long term commitment needed to finish what they start.  

Such was the case when the U.S. Department of Energy moved to abandon its much publicized experimental clean coal generation project — FutureGen — due to soaring cost projections. In this writer’s view, the people of Utah should be concerned if a similar lack of commitment follows Governor Huntsman’s highly publicized eco-accord with the Governator demonstrating Utah’s commitment to cleaner environmental standards. While the camera’s were flashing and the mic was turned on, the message was soothing to the souls of Utah residents tired of “haze” (air pollution) and “red burn days” caused by temperature inversions (air pollution caused by massive auto exhaust and coal burning power plants).  

However, if Utah’s Governor meant what he said to the western governors he will likely have to veto the weak legislation passing through the Utah legislature this week. Relegated to a page much further back than the original press event, this story indicates a weak un-mandated 2025 goal for energy producers in the state.  Can we really compare that to California’s specific and bold mandate for rolled back green house gases to 2000 levels by the year 2010?  

Why should Governor Huntsman and the people of Utah care? Cleaner air is needed today, not in 17 years – tourism and public health depends on it. Cleantech investors are placing billions of dollars behind initiatives that offer great environmental promise in states that remove obstacles for these new start ups to flourish – every state should covet cleantech investment. 

I repeat my question from previous blog entries: Will Utah lead or follow? Will Utah or any other state or company demonstrate environmental staying power or just publish press releases?

About the Author:

As founder of PilmerPR, John Pilmer, APR serves as a PR and marketing communications advisor for both emerging and established companies. He offers customers more than 20 years of results-driven business PR and marketing experience. John and the firm have provided PR consultation and campaigns for clients such as Mozy, Novell, AdvancedMD, Certiport, NextPage, ElectraTherm, Altiris, Avamar, EmergeCore Networks, FSLogic, INVISUS, 10x Marketing, MWI, Project Insight, REIC, Seastone, US Synthetic and Funding Universe (now Lendio), among others.

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