Monday, November 12, 2007

Kudos to NBC Universal’s Green Week

A recent post of mine revealed my skepticism about companies' commitment to social responsibility, especially those that claim to be "green." As I was perusing the PR Week website, I stumbled upon a recent article about NBC Universal's launch of Green Week, a week filled with green-themed programming that will "make NBCU the leading green media company," according to Lauren Zalaznick, coordinator of the campaign.

I read the article hoping the campaign was genuine and not a sly attempt to increase viewership. Then, I realized I was being entirely too pessimistic. Companies HAVE to make money to succeed, and if they can implement campaigns that will benefit some aspect of society, then I'm okay with it, no matter what their true intentions may be.

By incorporating all aspects of the company, NBCU capitalized on the green trend while educating both employees and viewers about the importance of sustainability and conservation. I especially liked the Green is Universal website that the company launched concurrently with the television programming.

Sure, Zalaznick admits that NBCU is trying to achieve an increase in advertising revenue and improve ratings, but I don't think that's necessarily a negative take on the Green is Universal campaign. The company seems to be actively engaged in the movement, as shown in its preliminary research that surveyed 16,000 employees on their environmental attitudes. A follow-up survey will also be conducted. This will show how effective the campaign was, and will demonstrate that NBCU improved its brand reputation and bottom line while committing to a significant cause.

So after a lot of deliberation, I decided I support the social responsibility craze that's consuming the corporate world. I hope more companies continue to advocate for these causes, as long as they remain committed long after the trend has faded from the headlines.

2 comments:

Kim said...

Hey! I completely sympathize with your corporate social responsibility skepticism. It is easy to get sucked into the anti-corporate rhetoric, but I recently started interning for a multi-national corporation that is recognized as a leader for CSR. Practicing PR for this company has given me a whole new respect for the challenges that corporations face as well as an "insider" understanding of how the company practices what it preaches on a daily basis. I think it's important that more people distance themselves from the "evil corporation" skepticism that our society seems all-to-ready to preach. There are certainly the bad apples, but I'm glad that you were able to point out NBCs attempt to reconcile both profit and sustainability! Have a happy and delicious Thanksgiving!

Meg Roberts said...

Kim,

Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your insight as I learn to overcome these skepticisms. The more reading on the subject I do, the more I realize how harsh I was being!

Take care!