Yonkers, New York…..A company’s reputation, profitability, and even its continued existence can depend on the degree to which its targeted “publics” support its goals and policies. Environmental public relations specialists serve as advocates for businesses, nonprofit associations, universities, and other organizations, and build and maintain positive relationships with the public. Decision makers working on Brownfield redevelopment are first beginning to recognize the need to rely on public relations specialists for advice on strategy and communications to ensure project success.
Public Relations experts play a key role for remediation and redevelopment companies in earning the trust and confidence of the community through communication and dialogue established by external and internal communications. “We continually build a sense of progress and accomplishment at the site,” said Fred Yaeger of the Environmental Communications Group and President of Yaeger Public Relations in Yonkers, New York. “We maintain and develop strong and positive relationships with local media and community leaders. A key role for us is to protect and enhance the reputation of the companies working at Brownfield sites including sub contractors. We do so by fostering timely communications and progress updates targeted to local elected officials, representatives of government agencies, environmental and advocacy organizations and the local community.”
Working on behalf of environmental remediation and redevelopment companies, public relations experts establish strong external and internal communications with the community. Some examples of external communications that public relations professionals provide are, attending community meetings and reporting back to the company, producing press releases on a regular basis that show progress on, remediation and redevelopment, the creation of a Brownfield project website that is updated on a regular basis to inform various audiences in the community on the progress at the site, and development of quarterly newsletters distributed to members of the community, business organizations, environmental groups and elected officials. The newsletters spotlight companies working on the site by showcasing health and safety measures and project development and successes.
Internal communications provides profiles and updates that companies and subcontractors can add to their own websites and internal newsletters. By recognizing company experts, morale is boosted and pride is fostered among co-workers. In addition, the community is influenced in very positive ways.
Environmental public relations pros need to be expert in crisis management. If there is a problem at the worksite, the key function is to reduce the impact of the crisis from the community perspective and the company perspective. Robert Miner of the Environmental
Communications Group and President of Price-Miner Creative Strategies said, “We help our clients communicate quickly, appropriately and consistently during crucial issues, such as litigation, and situations concerning health and safety. It is extremely important for the remediation and redevelopment company to have public relations experts from the start to ensure open and consistent communications throughout the Brownfield project.”