A call to arms for the PR industry

Bob PickardThe PR industry is known for its influence. PR professionals and other corporate communicators shape opinions and behavior every day. They know how to craft content, connect communities on- and offline, and explain and affect public opinion. Climate advocates have been fairly immersed in PR and communications for some time, but why are we still hitting roadblocks? In this recent Holmes Report piece, Bob Pickard details several familiar challenges to communicating about climate – the fact that the issue is complex, the effects are gradual, and the results of action are often invisible, to name a few. But despite these challenges, Pickard concludes that the issue is fundamentally solvable – if only the best and brightest corporate PR firms get behind it.

The Climate Change PR Disaster

By Bob Pickard, Guest Writer for The Holmes Report & Huntsworth Asia-Pacific CEO
As a public relations professional for almost a quarter century (split about evenly between North America and Asia Pacific), for years I have been trying to make sense of global warming from a communications perspective.
As far as I’m concerned, global warming is by far the biggest long-term challenge that our world faces. This problem can only be addressed if it is thought to be important enough – and urgent enough – for people (both elites and mass society) to think and act differently about climate change than they have before, and to do so in concert with each other.
I can only see that happening if the public relations efforts around climate change improve dramatically. That’s because right now, current communications – while no doubt earnest and sincere – are just not getting the job done (if, indeed, it can be done against the many daunting obstacles which this post will attempt to partially describe).
Getting the whole world to believe and behave differently is a tall order, but that’s what we PR people do every day in the service of multinational corporations. I think global warming should be a ‘call to arms’ for the PR profession, because we’re supposed to be better than anyone at the mastery of persuasion that’s so conspicuously lacking from existing climate change communications.
Read more here.

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