ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance issues. Many would argue this is the only story that matters – the story about how we are running successful corporations but also conserving our planet for future generations.

We are at an inflexion point, and if things don’t change – we will lose our home – planet Earth.

But what’s the opportunity for public relation specialists in communication ESG and telling the stories that matter – and those that hold company boards to account – internally and externally.

Three thoughts about ESG and PR for you:

  1. Intent is not enough; it’s essential to have a plan

An interesting blog by Stephen Waddington reveals that according to research published by Vuelio, 63% of PR professionals say that they can define ESG and its impact on their clients. He points out that communication planning in this area is critical. “Communication planning should not begin and end with intent but instead demonstrate a roadmap of action along with evidence of progress. It should also take a long-term view and truly consider an organisation’s role within the publics that it serves,” he says.

  1. It matters to investors and consumers – a lot!

This blog by Agility PR points out that according to their research, “73 per cent of American consumers noted environmental concerns like natural resource conservation or a company’s carbon footprint/impact on climate change.” A study commissioned by KPMG states that 91% of students said they cared about working for an “ethical” company. Communicating the ESG priorities of a company internally and externally in a clear, consistent and effective way is a huge opportunity for PR professionals.

  1. A renewed focus on ESG due to COVID 19

Public relations specialists respond to the big stories of our time and take the conversation forward. From BLM to MeToo. But there’s been no story like the pandemic ever before in living memory. Philip Tutt-Leppard from 360 integrated PR writes in a blog post, “Social inequalities between different groups – in terms of health, financial resilience, and life expectancy – have been brought into sharp relief. So has our interdependence, borne out of the simple phrase ‘no one is safe until we are all safe’”. A razor-sharp focus on ESG and the storytelling around issues that matter is only going to increase.


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