| Understanding today's environmentally aware consumer

Recycling and composting isn’t widespread enough

For many urban centers, recycling has been part of its citizens lives for many, many years now. The green process of separating refuse and ensuring that paper, plastic and metal products can be re-used is second nature to many of us. Sure, some are still lazy and are not recycling EVERY little item that could potentially be recycled, but we’re getting there. Our efforts could always improve, from a residential point of view.

The other residential chore that will help to save the planet is composting. Many progressive cities across North America have instituted programs whereby certain food garbage is also separated and picked up. Items such as napkins, discarded food and even eggshells are put into compostable bags and picked up once a week, just as recycled items are in most cities. It’s a process that really adds up when cities get buy-in from most of their population.

But the problem is that the majority of major cities have not made recycling for businesses and composting for residences a mandatory responsibility. The result is that tons of garbage ends up in landfills every day needlessly.

We’ve all worked at or visited a workplace that doesn’t recycle. It’s maddening to think of the utter waste and environmental irresponsibility.

So when will these two wrongs be targeted by cities and be rectified? It’s hard to say. But the first step is for everyone to speak up and be heard. Bombard council meetings. Write letters to city hall. Force the local media to address these issues.

We’re talking about our planet, here. It’s a privilege to be living on earth, not a right. And we have to do more to protect our way of life and that of our children.

Cities are always thinking about their bottom line and might stonewall recycling and composting activists with the proposed price associated with adding these services to the mix. But the truth is that costs aren’t always an issue. Some cities with robust recycling pickup services have great relationships with the private sector, with private firms taking the lead on picking up recyclable materials for their own purposes.

And as for the cost of adding composting pickup services, it’s a fact that cities are charged based on the amount of garbage they have to add to landfills. Adding composting services means reducing the amount of garbage a city has to dump, thus reducing costs in the long run.

So you see, we really have no excuse here. We MUST do a better job of getting in a renewable frame of mind. But it’s up to all of us. Let’s turn up the pressure on local government to put the planet first.  ^MR

Be sure to follow 3rd Planet on Facebook and Twitter. 3rd Planet PR can do wonders for your green and clean business. Contact us today to learn more.

PR for Green Companies starting to pay off

PR for Green CompaniesIt’s our time. It’s the planet’s time. That’s the sense that 3rd Planet PR is getting every time we pick up a newspaper or catch a special report on the news. More and more green technology and environmental issues and stories are coming to the forefront.

Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a gradual shift in media mentality, from “Oh, those tree huggers are crazy. No one is going to buy a car that runs on electricity,” to “A green and clean story? You bet, my producer will definitely want to feature that!”

While the news is good, we can’t let up. As a public relations agency, it’s our primary role to land publicity for our sustainability-believing clients. But that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to try and push the envelope and continue to try and nudge the needle even more so in the favor of renewable beliefs.

Rather than be content to simply feed the media interesting angles on green companies, green products and services, and green innovation, we can always do more.

3rd Planet PR can do its part by working with more eco-friendly non-profit organizations and activists. We can try and spread the latest environment reports and theories. We can make an effort to involve green academia in the media conversation.

Over the next few weeks, in addition to focusing on our current and prospective clients, 3rd Planet PR will be reaching out to a select group of forward-thinking, environmentally-protecting entities, in the hopes of furthering their messages of urgency and responsibility. Who better to help save the planet than 3rd Planet?

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PR and Media helping to change Green and Energy policy?

We’re moving the needle ever so slightly, we really are. Green and clean companies are making headway with consumers. Lawmakers are coming around with energy plans and grants. We can see renewable and sustainable initiatives popping up everywhere. But, how did we get to this new enlightened place? Surely, it wasn’t all about the lobbyists, was it?

As a professional green tech / clean tech public relations firm, we’d like to think that firms such as ours have played a role in the gradual shift to save the environment. We’re not saying that it’s been all about seeding stories with the media or coming up with earth-shaking ideas, but we do believe PR has played its part.

While we’re in the process of adding other success stories to our website, you needn’t look any further than the Junk Raft story that 3rd Planet PR helped to land on MSNBC a few years ago. It did wonders for the profile of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and made politicians and others think.

The power of media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, FOX and others CAN impact our environment indirectly, for the better. The old adage that one person can make a difference is so true. And in this case, it starts with a 3rd Planet PR associate pitching our clients to the world.  ^MR

Energy efficiency news at its finest

If it’s possible to be in love with a green news report, we at 3rd Planet PR think we are with this one. Apparently, the good people in New Jersey have a highly successful energy efficiency campaign ongoing, designed to create awareness among its citizens and really bring everyone into the ‘saving the environment’ discussion.

This Earth Techling report explains Project Porchlight, a state-wide energy efficient lighting initiative where volunteers pass out CFL bulbs and seek to replace the older, less energy efficient conventional light bulbs.

You see, now this is really doing something! This is being proactive, at a price that isn’t going to bankrupt the state. Incredibly, more than 1.5 million CFL bulbs will be passed out during this project.

But the great thing here is it’s not just about the bulbs. It’s about the promotion of a more eco-friendly lifestyle. The message of green technology and living greener is taken to the masses on a personal level.

We can only hope that other states follow suit. The expected collective energy savings of the project by citizens is being estimated at $86 million. That’s a whole lot of moolah. ^MR

Clean Energy buzzword of the day is WASTE

Imagine, this could actually be used for good

We have two growing problems in our world at the moment. First, we are using more and more energy and have to find ways to be more energy efficient. Second, we as a planet generate far too much waste and have to find better ways to dispose of or cut down on it.

Enter the notion of converting waste into energy. Are you kidding me? If this technology exists, why is it not making headlines from South Beach to Anchorage? Makes no sense. As in the case of many other renewable and sustainable ideas, technologies and concepts, it doesn’t make established big business any money and threatens the way that these corporations conduct their affairs. Sickening.

But here we are, sitting on the precipice of something special and exciting. And yet, just like the electric car, solar panels and other great green technology initiatives, waste to energy is not a mainstream practice, nor is it even common knowledge. We can’t drag our feet any longer. No more relenting to the status quo. We must act in the best interest to save the environment.

Now, admittedly, I am not an expert on the do’s and don’ts of the whole waste to energy process. But the fact that we can even read about it online makes you wonder why leaders of state are not more active in making this a widespread reality.

We’re talking about solving two problems with one process. And these aren’t little problems like potholes or long lines at the DMV. Solving an energy crisis and making use of our refuse is the most elementary of solutions, it’s not funny.

Mankind has a chance to really save the environment by pushing this issue to the forefront. We need strong leadership on this topic and strong consensus. Any haggling over various fine print will further delay the possibility of truly making a difference for our planet.

So let’s start talking funding and grants. Let’s start talking infrastructure and long term goals. Let’s turn back the clock on Mother Nature and let her feel young again. ^MR

3rd Planet PR offers summer support to startup green companies

Summer. It’s usually about fun in the sun. But in the case of those that are braving our economy to launch something new, it’s all about stretching every dollar.

In a makeshift home office near you, somewhere there’s a man or woman with a green start-up business, trying to gain traction and get that first big break. Generally, new small to medium sized companies believe that they simply don’t have the budget to engage effective public relations services.

That’s where we come in. To celebrate the appointment of Matthew Ross as our new president, we’re offering new green themed businesses a 30% discount in services this summer. From June 21 until September 20, startups that secure the services of 3rd Planet PR will receive a sizable rate reduction.

“Why not start the new era of 3rd Planet PR off with a bang? If we really believe in the green and clean way of life, we should be ready to support innovation, initiative and ideas. And that means supporting the new kids on the block as well,” explains Matthew Ross.

Don’t worry. There isn’t any sales-y, gimmick-y name to the special. We’re not calling it a summer blowout and not everything must go.

Simply put, we believe in the continual birth of anti-aging remedies for our planet. We want to put  good people with good green ideas on the map.

For more on 3rd Planet PR, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

The Presidential Address?

No private plane for 3rd Planet PR

Note: On June 3rd, 2011, Matthew Ross was named President of 3rd Planet PR, a division of Dime PR. Here is his 3rd Planet PR introductory blog entry.

The world renowned Hail to the Chief doesn’t play when I walk into a room, and I certainly don’t have any burly men in black suits protecting me. Yet, here I am, the new president of 3rd Planet PR. It’s a tremendous honor, but also an incredible opportunity.

Just as I state in my bio details, my background is in, well, everything! From Director of Communications to Journalist, from Media Strategist to Radio Host, I’ve been fortunate to experience a wide variety of industries, responsibilities and life lessons during my career.

In terms of my exposure to 3rd Planet, I learned about it from my esteemed colleague, parent agency DIME PR CEO Tim Williams. Point blank, to me, 3rd Planet PR represents the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s an agency well positioned to help lead the wave of green and clean consumerism and corporate responsibility for many years to come.

Every indication in today’s world points to being more eco-friendly, more energy-efficient and less consumptive. The government’s doling out grants and subsidies, world innovation in the green sector is at an all-time high and consumers are slowly changing their lifestyles. That’s where 3rd Planet comes in. Specializing in those that believe in the renewable, the cleaner and the lowering of all types of emissions, 3rd Planet PR’s job is to tell the world (through the media) all about the next big green thing.

So whether it’s a company specializing in recycled roofs, a business that can help produce electricity from our own backyards or a car that runs on vegetable oil, we’ll be there, helping to see these stories told.

Admittedly, I am not the most environmentally-active individual, but I’m learning and trying harder every day. That’s the thing about heading 3rd Planet; it’s making me a better person. Okay, maybe the last bit was a little over the top. But you get the idea. This is truly gratifying work in more ways than one.

So while there may not be any freshly paved  tennis court or government-paid private airplane rides in my near future as President of 3rd Planet PR, I am fine with it.

After all, how could anyone pave over nature’s landscape or condone such outlandish fuel consumption? See? I’m getting the hang of this thing already.

Cleantech and Public Relations towards Investors

The Artemis Project is an initiative by Blue Tech Forum. Described in the most simple way, it’s a competition for water treatment companies where winning companies get awarded.

Winners of awards; http://theartemisproject.com/clients/ reported after the competition that the recognition they received enormously helped in their fundraising.

Participating companies were rated by industry experts on four aspects:

  • Intellectual property
  • Technology
  • Market potential
  • Team

In the category of intellectual property, companies were rated on their established intellectual property position, the strength of processes around idea extraction, invention documentation and the IP strategy in general.

In the category of technology, companies were rated on the bottom line value of their technologies. Factors like ease of integration with existing solutions, fit for key applications and value of solution (contribution to cost reduction and environment) played the biggest role.

In the category of market potential, focus was on the size of the total addressable market over the full life of the products, the immediate value upon initial product introduction and the length of the sales cycle for the company’s products.

In the team category, companies were evaluated on the combined scientific, technical, market and industry background of their management teams and the participation of investors with a relevant background and network.

Investors analyze the fore mentioned categories when they make decisions about potential investments. Value of technology and market potential are probably the most important factors for investors; closely followed by intellectual property and the team factor.

This taxonomy could serve as a guideline for a Cleantech company´s Public Relations campaign with investors as a target group. The explicit description of its IP management, value of technology, market potential and the mentoring board with its industry relations helps demonstrate the true value of a cleantech organization.

Intellectual property and the team factor can actively be developed and described by a company. The value of technology and market potential are often given circumstances that may change from moment to moment, but are harder to influence. For many cleantech companies, intellectual property strategy and the organization’s team should therefore be highlighted more often. Companies should never underestimate the power of well-planned public relations campaign targeted towards potential investors.

Branding, a Challenge for Cleantech Companies

Scientists and engineers have traditionally dominated the cleantech industry. However, because of a lack of resources, they have also been in charge of transforming an invention into a business concept and then commercializing it. This one of the reasons why many cleantech businesses have difficulties positioning their company as a brand and not just another new invention. Marketing and R&D are inherently different disciplines and although branding for cleantech might not be easy, it’s essential in a rapidly growing market focused on sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Amanda North and Porter Novelli (Agrion, Business Network for Energy, Cleantech and Sustainable Development http://tiny.cc/8sgqg) recently interviewed several marketing executives of leading solar companies and recorded some interesting notions about branding that might serve the cleantech industry as a whole.

The first important notion in these interviews with solar representatives was: It’s not one single industry! – most cleantech companies face this. Whether it’s lighting, wind, clean water, smart grid or any other cleantech industry, their market is segmented. Although vertical integration is on the rise, most companies provide a specific piece in a cleantech solution. Correct positioning of products and their specific benefits is therefore essential.

In a B2B environment, product reliability, company stability and company size (a sum of factors addressed as “bankability”) are seen as THE most important brand attributes. What might come as a surprise, B2B companies are beginning to consistently focus on a more general public in their communication strategies. Obviously, no matter the buyer of a product, having a brand with a positive appeal amongst the general public helps expand a business.

B2C companies, communicate the ease of use and installation, low upfront costs and reliability as the most important features of their brand. While cutting edge technology was the message in the past, the message has shifted to end-user benefits. And it’s not enough to refer to ecology only, cleantech solutions have to be economically viable.

The morale: Some companies offer turnkey solutions as a matter of simplicity instead of letting consumer do their homework in selecting, installing, maintaining and financing. Several residential solar companies, offering vertical integration are now very successful. Vertical integration is a brand enhancing condition; the solution comes from one company and not from a conglomerate.

Not only is the cleantech market segmented, but the audience is also continually being segmented. Buyers, investors, opinion-leaders (bloggers, journalists), certification-institutes, local and national governmental institutes, just to mention a few. They are reached through specific media and require tailored messages in order to be effective in branding. Cleantech companies need a consistent branding message tailored to their different target markets using the communication channels they consume.

As no surprise for the cleantech industry, social media channels are becoming more and more important in reaching out to different target markets. A personalized dialogue with specific target markets allows a company to respond more effectively to the needs of a specific audience. Social media channels provide this dialogue.

Cleantech companies have to take branding serious. There is solid evidence that the successful cleantech companies of tomorrow will later be analyzed as the ones that excelled in branding.

Are Green Consumers Really, Really Green?

What green consumers say — and what they do – are not always the same. Big surprise? Not really. Check out the details at this link …http://tinyurl.com/nr7upr