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New Cision data shows mixed greens on the menu for 2009

Favorable environmental mentions in the news disappearing from the first paragraph

Green-related news has been an important area of growth for the PR industry for many years now, but recently, there are several indicators that interest in green news is shifting. A recent examination of Cision Index data shows that environmental news appears to be less of a driving force that it once was in media relations, yet at the same time, the total number of environmental-related mentions doesn’t appear to shrinking.

Positive environmental stories about companies were mentioned in lead paragraphs 53% of the time in 2008, but just 41% of the time in Q1 2009 (see chart below). So, those environmental news mentions that had previously appeared at the beginning of a story are now increasingly showing up in the middle or end. While green news itself is still a hot topic, it’s now appearing with a slightly toned-down persona.

This observation seems to be confirmed by other sources, such as Gallup Polling data reported in the New York Times, which shows that for the first time in 25 years, American consumers think the economy is more important than the environment in a tradeoff scenario.  In addition, PR Week has a new article highlighting hybrid-story tactics that PR professionals are using to keep the green messages relevant.

In response to the economic downturn, there have been a lot of stories in recent months how being both green and business-friendly are not mutually exclusive. Another trend is that green mentions are appearing in the media as a benefit from other types of changed behavior, such as eating local produce or buying non-toxic products.

We’ll be on the lookout for more data as it becomes available on this very newsworthy topic.  Meanwhile, have you noticed that journalists are looking for new angles on environmental news lately?

Percentage of ‘Green’ News in the First Paragraph of an Article

Between Q2 2008 and Q1 2009, there was a continuous drop in the percentage of environmental mentions in the first paragraph of news stories. But, there was no sizeable change in the total number of environmental mentions.
*Data From the Cision Index 2008 and 2009

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