With six in ten Brits preferring companies that have a moral message; doing good can be good for business. Many brands are looking to become more ethical, eco-friendly and socially conscious, but one avenue that is often overlooked is their public relations (PR).
PR is an essential part of running and promoting a business, but is what business owners are putting out there helping others? Or are they just helping themselves? With statistics showing that six in ten (62%)1 Brits like it when companies have a moral message, surely implementing ethical PR strategies is a no-brainer? And it's easier than you might think.
Amy Merrywest, founder of Pitch & Shout, teaches small business owners how to do their own PR and get their business featured in the press. She encourages her students to perform activities that do good for the world but also create a resulting story that raises brand awareness.
“From a publicist perspective, I understand that it is important for businesses to demonstrate they have a good moral code. But from a human perspective, it’s vital that business owners acknowledge that if their company is to adopt these strategies it must come from a place of integrity. From a true desire to leave the world in a better place,” Amy explains.
Here are Amy's top three tips for using ethical PR strategies:
1. Do good with messaging and stories
Through 1-2-1 sessions and online courses – including the new ‘Authority Amplified’ course, – I teach my students to always make sure that their press releases are paving the way for important stories or ones that do good, such as raising awareness of a larger issue that is linked to their business.
2. Encourage safe and correct press
It is the responsibility of journalists, PR professionals, and business owners to publish safe, clear and correct information. While the aim of a press release is, in the main, to promote a product, service, or business, there are opportunities to share positive messages and stories when writing a press release.
3. Discourage dishonesty and 'putting a spin' on a mistake
Business owners shouldn't be afraid to admit to their mistakes and learn from them. Pitch & Shout encourages all of its students to champion honesty and integrity. I teach students to recognise areas within their business that need improvements and to take ownership of it, highlight it and demonstrate positive change. This is opposed to hiding errors or putting a spin on them when they get noticed.
Amy is passionate about the environment, so Pitch & Shout has partnered with More: Trees and the business plants one new tree for every single student.