Core communication tips to get your B Corp message out
The relationship between Wholegrain Digital and Enviral goes back to 2018 when founders Tom and Vineeta Greenwood met Joss Ford at a WordPress summit talking about sustainability. Since then, a fond love for each other as agencies have formed. The two agencies have worked together on multiple projects including the Good Energy website, and Joss and Vineeta caught up earlier this month to record an episode for Enviral’s Shifting The Narrative podcast.
Introducing your communications experts:
Two team members sharing their expertise…
Rachael, Wholegrain Digital
Hi, I’m Rachael and I’ve been working at Wholegrain Digital for almost eight years now! When I first started, I was the ‘Admin Genie’ and did a bit of everything, which to begin with only included social media on the comms side. This means I started with a bit of a blank state communications-wise, so I have been able to develop our brand’s tone of voice.
My role has now morphed into ‘Team Genie,’ which covers a lot of different responsibilities but my background, and favourite aspect, is the communications side of things. From the annual impact reports to our social media channels, I love sharing the work we are doing towards a better web for a better world.
Hello, Bonnie here, I’m the new Marketing Manager at Enviral. I joined the talented team of creatives, strategists and producers back in January. Over the years I have worked at multiple B Corps and learnt a lot from the various sectors and industries that are using business as a force for good in the world of adventure, travel and retail.
I love exploring new ways to build an engaged online and in-person community. Connecting with people who want to do good is what drives me. I believe that it is my responsibility as someone working in communications to find the best tools and strategies to engage people in the climate crisis, ultimately inspiring people to take action.
I first came across Enviral at the Blue Earth Summit where I heard Joss speak on a panel discussion about Greenwash in 2021. I was inspired by the work Enviral is doing as an agency, dedicating its communications skills to help its clients create a cleaner, greener future. Fast forward to January when I saw Enviral were recruiting for a Marketing Manager, I jumped at the opportunity to join the team!
There’s no one blueprint for B Corp comms
As more and more organisations become B Corp certified (yay!), it’s even more true that we are all different. Coming from a wide range of sectors, with different audiences means that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to communicating our message.
That said, what makes us all part of the B Corp community is that we do tend to share the same core values and have the aligned mission of ensuring we have a positive impact on the world. This is where the core messaging lies in sharing our stories, it’s all about communicating our core values and the shared community vision.
Top tips for communicating your B Corp core
- Show, don’t tell – While B Corp month is a great time to shout about our community, it’s not necessary to remind people that you’re a B Corp in every communication, as the messaging should be integrated throughout all communications (although adding the #BCorp hashtag on any relevant social media posts doesn’t hurt!). Don’t just talk about being a B Corp, be who you are and communicate that – adding value where you can. Even if brands don’t go through the B Corp certification route, they may be inspired to make positive changes in their business operations.
- Know your values – and ensure that these are woven into all your communications, so that you attract those whose values are aligned, which brings us to…
- Know your audience – Who are they, where do they hang out? What platforms are they on? Focus on the channels that get the most engagement, there’s no need to be everywhere.
- Make it visual – if you’re communicating a sustainability message, core value or piece of thought leadership, well placed graphics, videos and photography can be really powerful. These tools grab people’s attention and can help to convey complex data, create emotional connections and facilitate learning.
- Build a highly engaged audience – newsletters and podcasts are a great way to do this. By inviting people to sign up to learn more, they become even more invested in your journey, and are therefore your most valuable audience. Wholegrain Digital’s main channel is Curiously Green, a monthly digital sustainability newsletter. Enviral hosts conversations on their podcast channel, Shifting The Narrative, a platform that gives space for much needed conversations with people working to solve climate, nature and social challenges. Check out the podcast to hear from a handful of B Corp leaders.
Our favourite social media channels
When I started at Wholegrain, Twitter and Facebook were our main social media accounts, and Twitter is still one where we do get good engagement but over time, we’ve moved much more towards Instagram and LinkedIn. We’ve stopped using Facebook altogether because it’s just not where most of our audience is.
While our instagram following is steadily growing and highly engaged, LinkedIn is where we’ve seen the most growth in recent years. Starting with Tom’s experiment to see if LinkedIn was ‘a waste of time’ (spoiler: it’s not!) in 2019, we’ve stepped up our presence there on our main account, alongside Tom and Vineeta’s personal output, which definitely leads more people to us. There’s something about the thought leadership of your most senior people being directly accessible on LinkedIn, that really elevates your brand voice (in my opinion!).
That said, our most rapidly growing channel is of course our Curiously Green newsletter (sign up here!), which attracts more than 100 new subscribers every month. You just can’t beat community when it comes to sharing your message and engaging with those whose values are aligned. Much like the B Corp community!
Social media is only a small area to how we market Enviral with us focussing on the likes of events, networking, partnerships and direct communications as how we build our community.
That said, core to Enviral is a belief that business is the vehicle for mass positive change, and because of this we focus most of our social media marketing efforts towards LinkedIn so we can interact with an engaged online business community.
It’s well known that company pages aren’t favoured by the LinkedIn algorithm yet sharing unique insights, perspectives and expertise on relevant topics engages your audiences and helps to establish you as an expert. As Rachael mentioned above, thought leadership allows you to elevate your brand voice. It also helps build trust, can provide you with networking opportunities and, importantly, drives traffic to your website. For this reason the Enviral team post regularly, including Joss posting thought leadership pieces on his own LinkedIn channel multiple times per week.
With us always looking at opportunities to bring our videography team into the fold to share our behind the scenes journey and thoughts, we often post videos on our Enviral Instagram, Blogs and LinkedIn.
One example of these videos is our B Corp Best For The World video, which shares quick tips for brands thinking about going for B Corp certification, to help them achieve success.
Although the Enviral newsletter has been on pause for the past few months, I’m excited to get it back up and running as I truly believe it’s the best way to communicate directly with your target audience. When people subscribe to a newsletter it suggests that they are already engaged and have a level of interest in the business. When the email campaign lands in a subscribers inbox, it’s likely that the click through rate will be relatively high resulting in a good conversion rate. Sign up now to be first to receive the Enviral newsletter when it resumes!
Recently we also put together an internal campaign, which we’re really proud of, in partnership with a local Bristol charity for Random Acts Of Kindness Day. With so many of us spending time online, we try to inspire people – without being preachy – to put purpose into their actions. So whether that is creating open source documents on our website to inspire more sustainable film productions through our Enviral’s Big Old Production Musts checklist, or sharing stories about how we give back to our local community – it’s a way of us living and breathing our values.
We love bringing people together to share ideas and build community. If you’re based in the South West, keep your eyes peeled for the next Enviral B Corp Round Table. The aim of these sustainability meet-ups is to engage, inspire and connect with the vibrant B Corp community. Sign up to the Enviral newsletter to receive updates on upcoming events and meet-ups. Check out this video from the recent B Corp Breakfast event we hosted.
Great B Corp minds…
Collaborating on this blog has highlighted how similar our approach is when it comes to communications. Rachael sums up our aligned approach as, “Core communications is communicating your core.”
If you’re already a registered B Corp and interested in embedding yourself further into the B Corp community, make sure you’re signed up to the B Hive and give the B Corp UK group a follow to connect with your fellow UK B Corps. This group is nearly 5000 members strong!
Whether you’re a B Corp or not, we hope this blog gives you some suggestions to elevate your company’s communications. If you’re curious about, and/or inspired by the B Corp Community having seen all the communications around our work this B Corp month, head over to the B Corporation website and check out the B Impact Assessment.
- Digital Declutter – A toolkit to help businesses measure and reduce their digital carbon emissions
- Sustainable Web Manifesto – Pledge your commitment to applying the sustainable web principles in your work
- Sustainable Web Design (book) – Tom Greenwood literally wrote the book on Sustainable Web Design!
- Sustainable Web Design (website) – A collaboration with fellow B Corp Mightybytes
- Website Carbon – Test your website’s impact with the world’s first website carbon calculator.
Check out our Campus page for a series of free insights, tools and infographics that will help you feel inspired and guide your marketing, sustainability and communications efforts.
Enviral’s Big Old Production Musts – This checklist helps producers and crew members reduce their environmental impact whilst filming with Enviral. We’ve made this PDF open source so other production companies and agencies can do the same!
Enviral’s At What Cost Checker – Use this free tool to check whether a potential client, supplier or partner cares about people and planet
Design Declares – tools and knowledge to create beautiful designs that don’t cost the planet
CrowdTangle – A tool that helps you follow, analyse and report on what’s happening across social media
Answer The Public – A free online tool that helps you create content that will lead to traffic to your website.