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I had the opportunity to attend the Phoenix PRSA “Green” Luncheon. The panel included Tishin Donkersley, editor-in-chief at Green Living Magazine AZ, Kristin Heggli, director of PR at Hotel Valley Ho, Tom Waldek, executive director of Keep Phoenix Beautiful and Iaim Hamp, community program rep. – Arizona Green Team and Wells Fargo. The panelists touched on variety of ways to effectively keep businesses green, how to pitch a green product to an eco-friendly magazine, how to encourage customers (or clients) to go green and how the Valley is trying to evolve into a more greener community.

Some important ideas that I took away from the luncheon were to avoid feeling like you are forcing everyone to be green, but instead just let it be known how easy it is to recycle or save water and that resources are available for those interested in bettering their workplace. This can be as simple as having a community recycling bin, or in other cases, like the Wells Fargo office in San Francisco, a community composite bin. Prompt those around you about the benefits of going green. For example, instead of using paper so often, switch to email alerts. This will save you money and cuts back on using so much paper. Also, things as simple as bringing your own coffee cup to Starbucks versus always using their plastic cups. FYI – did you know that only the lid of those cups can be recycled?

Being authentic is another thing that needs to take priority when trying to start this new initiative at your office. Make sure it is clear that you are helping the environment because it is something you truly care about and you want to make an effective change. If you are doing it for any other reason, people will see right through you and there goes your credibility.

PR-wise, some things I learned were how to pitch something green to an eco-friendly magazine and not have it get ignored. First, when pitching a product that you truly feel will make a difference and needs proper exposure, know exactly where it came from and who certified it. Second, know the ingredients. If you are trying to pitch the latest health food craze, but your product has high-fructose corn syrup listed on the back, you’re not going to get the attention of your favorite green editor.

The panelists recommended the following blogs for additional information about switching to a greener lifestyle:

http://blog.wellsfargo.com/environment/

http://www.thearizonagreenteam.com/

http://www.keepphxbeautiful.org/

http://www.shiftarizona.com/

http://www.greenlivingaz.com/

http://www.hotelvalleyho.com/hotelinformation/greeninitiative.html

Brittany Richardson
Brittany Richardson
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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