Repurposing ESG Content for Maximum Impact
After you produce your sustainability report (SR), you’ll be flush with new stories, narrative and data about your organization’s efforts.
It just doesn’t make sense to relegate this approved content to die between the pages of your report. It can, and should, be leveraged by other departments to address the specific needs and wants of your key constituents and to further your business. Repurposed content will reinforce your message and create cost and time efficiencies for your content authors and subject matter experts. By consistently reinforcing your message, you can differentiate your brand and further showcase environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) as instrumental to who you are and how you operate.
Sales and Marketing
The first, and likely most obvious, place to share content is with sales and marketing teams. These customer- and public-facing employees can use an overview of the key material things the company is doing on the ESG front that align with what is driving decisions and a company’s reputation. They can use relevant copy, stories, graphics and charts to create and update the collateral they use to tell your company’s story in their work. And, they can use this content as they do digital storytelling on social media or in email campaigns.
The second opportunity for ESG content is in recruiting materials. Research has revealed that millennials and Generation Z are concerned about a company’s ESG commitment, and the impact it has beyond shareholder value. They want to work for companies that are aligned to their own personal values. Content can be leveraged to showcase what your company cares about and efforts it’s making to have a positive impact on the world.
License to Operate
The third way to repurpose SR content is for companies working in or entering new or emerging markets. For these countries, ESG practices are usually considered a license to operate. The price of entry, and staying, is that companies are making an effort toward positive contributions in the region. These efforts include hiring locally, providing education, health and wellness resources or reducing environmental footprints and disruptions. In addition, for companies that operate in Europe, environmental and social practices are already an important part of a company’s ability to conduct business. The content you collect for your SR can be used as proof that your company is dedicated to these practices already.
SR content can also support community engagement efforts as companies expand operations into domestic communities. Efforts to reverse the “not in my backyard” mentality could benefit from revealing stories of the good companies are doing. By understanding what a local community is concerned about, you can select relevant SR content on that specific topic and use it as a stand-alone asset in mailers, handouts, newsletters or town halls. For example, a community may be concerned about a company’s water usage and treatment. If that topic is material to your organization and in your SR, you can use that content to create a separate overview brochure or presentation specific to the issue.
As your ESG efforts become more visible internally, and as employees come to understand this as part of your organizational DNA, they will want to start telling your impact stories. It’s up to you to provide them with what they need so that the story is managed and accurate. These stories can be repurposed in myriad ways, and all of them take your story beyond the pages of your SR and into the world. This further showcases your dedication to your ESG efforts and begins to positively impact your business and positive brand image.
As President at Savage Brands, Bethany is known for forging powerful connections – connecting people to people and connecting companies with the fresh ideas that make their brands purposeful. In her recent book, "Get Your Head Out of Your Bottom Line and Build Your Brand on Purpose," Bethany conveys to business leaders the importance of leading with purpose.