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

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 As ESG continues to dominate PR Newswire’s release feed, Cision has created numerous ESG-specific options to help companies share their ESG-related advancements.

While we continue to see diverse ESG content, certain trends emerge that PR, IR and other communications industry professionals can use to help inform their comms. Here’s a look at three ways we noticed companies fine-tuning their ESG messaging in press releases sent via PR Newswire over the month of September. 

1.  Reducing Greenwashing

As the SEC continues its crackdown on greenwashing, it behooves companies to be specific about their climate commitments. Moreover, it’s a best practice for any piece of content – be transparent and disclose tangible results.

Here are two releases that accomplished that by featuring key highlights and data early on and including calls to action that connect readers with detailed information and actionable plans.

What these releases get right: Deloitte uses a straightforward headline that immediately gets to the who and what. Bullet points within the release highlight key takeaways and “need to knows” for the audience that’s short on time. 

Formatting-wise, Deloitte also uses bolded text to call out key points within the body of the release. Executive quotes sprinkled throughout the release add credibility and authority to the overall story.

Meanwhile, Empire also uses a concise, straightforward headline and uses subheads to provide further context for the reader before they dive in. Like Deloitte, Empire also uses executive quotes to add authority, while also linking out to original content that furthers credibility and invites the reader to continue on the brand’s journey.

2. More Frequent, Detailed Progress Updates

It’s clear that the annual report release is no longer sufficient anymore for ESG news cadence.  aconsider regular updates, whether it’s quarterly or whenever your company has made valuable progress.

These two releases feature nuanced movements in ESG, presented in an easily digestible format for journalists and investors. The more granular you get, the more transparency unfolds.

What these releases get right: Like the other releases highlighted above, Kroger’s uses a concise, no-nonsense headline and leverages executives for quotes for an added layer of context. 

Kroger also keeps the short-on-time reader in mind, using headers and bold text to break up the release into key categories, and bullets to summarize the most important takeaways for the reader to walk away with.

Jeep also follows the same formatting best practices as above, but goes further to engage the reader with images and a video that add a visual element while giving readers another way to consume the information in the release.

3. Simplifying ESG

One of the most repeated pieces of feedback we hear from journalists and the investment community is “make this content easier to digest.” Aside from putting yourself in the shoes of these two groups juggling tight deadlines and more demands on their time than ever before, consider this: simplicity eliminates confusion, builds trust and makes it easier to invest.

Morningstar and Unified Compliance demonstrate this in the examples below:

What these releases get right: In addition to formatting their release for easier reading and comprehension, MorningStar includes a simple chart to help readers visualize the cost-benefits of their new solution.

Meanwhile, Unified Compliance’s release is short and sweet, with links the reader can follow to learn more. 

Another element that sets their release apart: They cleverly include a call to action in the form of a link to tweet – so readers can quickly and easily share their news and help amplify UC’s message.

Final thoughts

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.