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The Top ESG Trends for PR and IR Pros to Know from October

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As we head into Q4, companies continue to send more ESG content than ever before. The topics continue to be diverse, but certain trends emerged in October that PR, IR and other communications industry professionals can use to help inform their ESG comms. Here’s a look at three ways we noticed companies fine-tuning their ESG messaging in press releases sent via PR Newswire in October.

1.  Focusing on the 'E' in ESG

The Yale Program on Climate Change Communications found in its project that overall, Americans are becoming more worried about global warming, more engaged with the issue, and more supportive of climate solutions.

These releases illustrate companies knowing their audience and offering their consumers ways to get involved with clear calls to action, smart links and easily digestible actionable information.

What these releases get right: 

  • Both use concise headlines that immediately answer “why this news matters” and include important keywords for online discoverability.
  • Multimedia that drives the narrative is critical for engagement and pickup. Napa Valley featured a 30-second video underscoring the importance of its campaign, and Ocean’s Halo included product images to connect readers with the specific way they can make an impact.
  • Both releases use a smart number of links in the body and make sure the most important ones – the “calls to action” – are featured high in the release. Napa Valley also incorporates bullet points and strategic bolding within the release to highlight key takeaways for the audience that’s short on time.  

2. Putting the 'S' in ESG

The second letter in the corporate world’s most popular acronym is also getting a lot of attention. Here are two releases that showcase great community outreach programs and the amount of dollars allocated to the S portion of ESG. Sharing news like this via a press release is a smart way to build legitimacy and improve commitments to customers and other stakeholders.

What these releases get right:

  • Like the releases highlighted above, FirstEnergy and Florida Blue use concise headlines but here they also incorporate numbers, a guaranteed way to draw more attention to a headline.
  • Both companies also include a subheadline for additional context and important keywords and numbers to further draw readers into the content.
  • Florida Blue utilizes a bulleted section with bolding and key data to summarize the most important takeaways. FirstEnergy, meanwhile, strategically highlights a YouTube video – its first (and most important) link – that draws the eye. 

3. Tools to Track ESG Efforts

A recent Oracle global study found that 94% of people believe not enough progress has been made on sustainability and social efforts. Measuring success can be overwhelming, for both companies looking to communicate progress and stakeholders monitoring those companies. As a result, we’re seeing more releases – such as the two below – focusing on tools to track corporate goals and specific ways to be proactive.

What these releases get right:

  • Both Honeywell and The Conference Board illustrate ideal ways to report data in press releases. Honeywell includes lists of key highlights at the beginning of the release and halfway through – a great strategy for easier reading and comprehension. The Conference Board utilizes shorter bulleted sections with “what to expect” and “how to prepare,” showing its authority on the subject and helping readers visualize the process.
  • Both releases also clearly set off links to the full reports, making it easy to quickly find more detailed information as needed.

If you have an ESG story to tell about your brand, now is as good of a time as ever to shine a spotlight on it. Take a cue from the example above to creating a compelling press release that communicates your message with authenticity and authority.