PRs turn away from greenwash

A recent survey reveals that 35 per cent of PR and communications agencies have declined or refused to engage in greenwashing and astroturfing campaigns for clients. Astroturfing is the practice of making a message appear as if it originates from grassroots participants.

Launched by the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) Council, the survey also revealed that 80 per cent of practitioners have helped meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their work. Of the 17 UN SDGs, four stood out as the most popular, with 35 per cent saying their work was helping to achieve gender equality, with similar numbers reporting they have helped ensure healthy lives, promote sustainable economic growth and build resilient communities.

Three-quarters of respondents have encouraged workplace diversity through positive employment practices, two-thirds had encouraged philanthropy and giving with similar numbers involved in genuine corporate social responsibility programmes.

Francis Ingham MPRCA, director general, PRCA, said: “The social impact of PR is hugely important, but hardly talked about. From the impact of campaigns on target audiences and helping to deliver genuine corporate social responsibility programmes and encouraging workforce diversity, the communications industry can have a hugely positive role to play in the world.”

Last year the PRCA launched a new definition of the social impact of public relations and communications. PR and communications practitioners complete an initial assessment of their own impact, gain a social impact star rating and then sign up to stay in touch on the issue via this link.

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