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How to Tell a Compelling ESG Story

Posted on Categories Marketing Communications, Purpose, StrategyTags

ESG work is a very aspirational and inspirational undertaking, and as such, deserves to be talked about in aspirational and inspirational ways.

When sharing about your ESG efforts and outcomes, it’s important to create stories that people want to read. Something that inspires them and shows them why they should align with your organization and its efforts. To tell an ESG story in this way requires a few tactics that differ from how we’re typically accustomed to telling our organizational stories.

Start with Why

Start every ESG story by sharing your organizational purpose. Linking your ESG efforts to your purpose helps audiences see the bigger picture; to see how every effort you make at your organization is in service of your purpose. This demonstrates that your ESG efforts are real and authentic; not a bunch of random ideas that you are working on. When you show others that you are most focused on how you can make your purpose real, they feel invested in your success in making the world a better place.

Share Your Vivid Vision

Help others see the future you see. Use descriptive language to show them how the world will look different when you work together in service of your purpose. If you can aptly describe the future you see, it’s very clear how things must shift today to get to that ideal state. Staying clear and connected to this vision is a motivating factor for delivering on ESG efforts. 

Focus on Impact Over Effort

We’re very good at talking about what we do, or what we’ve done, when recounting stories about our work. But for ESG, long lists of tactics or recountings of every action you’ve taken is unnecessary. In ESG storytelling, it’s important to focus on impact. Data and measurements can help with this effort. But what’s more memorable are personal testimonies about the way in which your work has changed a person’s life. When you demonstrate impact over efforts, you continue to show that ESG is not about you. It’s about the world and how you hope to shape it.

Share in the Nobility of Your Purpose 

When telling ESG stories, go beyond speaking about the efforts of your organization. Tell the stories of vendors, customers and investors too. How are they contributing to your ESG efforts? Ascribe nobility to everyone’s participation in your program. A great outcome of this is the development of deeper relationships with your stakeholders. But, perhaps more importantly, you show what can happen when a network works together to move the needle on something. 

Telling ESG in this way motivates and inspires others to take the journey with you. By bringing your efforts to life in vivid and connected ways, your authenticity and sincerity shine through. This demonstrates that you are a good partner and collaborator; that you’re trusting and trustworthy. And all without ever having to say that you are these things — your actions in your stories speak for themselves.

Featured Resource:

Learn the five pillars to communicating your ESG story for maximum impact in our latest e-book: A Guide to Creating Compelling ESG Reports:

Savage Brands Compelling ESG Ebook Cover

Avatar photoSavage Brands believes in unleashing the good inherent within all organizations. Business results are driven by connecting with people at the belief level. That’s why we align everything a company says and does with its Purpose through a proven process that links strategy and execution with “why.” We solve the challenges corporate America faces by building tribal loyalty from the inside out, focusing on people first to deliver authentic brand experiences. Savage builds purposeful brands, communications, leaders and cultures.