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Climate change and Covid dominated as topics at this years’ Mumbrella360 – a two-day conference of ideas, insights and inspiration for over 2,000 senior professionals in media and marketing. 

GreenCollar’s head of marketing, Susan Horn, shared some really interesting insights and data around changing consumer mindset when it comes to climate change.

She spoke about what words or language really resonate with people when we think about sustainability and looking after our environment, and what we as communicators need to be thinking about when creating marketing/PR/communication assets that will persuade and help people to stop and think about how they can make a difference.

She shared research into the seven different emotion types we can use when drafting communications around climate change and influencing consumer behaviour. They are:

  1. Self-condemning emotions – guilt, shame, embarrassment
  2. Other-condemning emotions – anger, disgust, contempt
  3. Self-praising emotions – pride
  4. Other-praising emotions – elevation, admiration, awe, gratitude
  5. Other-suffering emotions – compassion, empathy
  6. Threat-related emotions – fear, anxiety, hopelessness
  7. Hedonistic emotions – joy, pleasure, amusement

Dependent upon your audience, and where they are on their understanding of climate change, the type of emotive language you use in your communications will differ. If your audience is well on their way to adopting sustainable practices, you might find praising emotions work, whereas if they are early on their journey, self-condemning emotions may work better.

You should also think about the proof points that will resonate with an audience. In the world of B2B marketing we know that messaging around productivity or profitability improvements are key to a strong message, and that is particularly true with climate change too! What is in it for me and my business?

The pressure for brands and businesses to demonstrate a focus on, or commitment to, sustainability is only going to increase. Businesses need to ensure they’re communicating the right message and championing sustainable practices while at the same time, working on actually improving their sustainable commitments inside the business. You have to be able to “walk your talk.”

Need help curating some solid comms around sustainability for your business? Drop us a line and we can assist! [email protected] 

Alex Williams