Should a company use a public relations company to market their eco-friendly products?

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  1. 0 Votes

    You really do like the difficult questions, doncha, shebola100?

    Those who are in favor of public relations, marketing and sales support their activities by pointing out that:

    1. They make money.
    2. They alert people to things they otherwise wouldn’t know about.
    3. They make money.
    4. They imaginatively show people how things are important to them.
    5. They make money.
    6. They put an entertaining, friendly face on products.
    7. They are a way of competing with other companies.
    8. And of course: They make money.

    Arguments on the con side are more or less flip of the pro arguments:

    1. Some company is going to make money, why should it be the one spending the most on advertising? (As opposed to having a good product, for example.)
    2. Much of the public face is just hype: Drinking beer really doesn’t get you healthy attractive young women in bikinis any more than not drinking beer. Buying a product that has figured out that it is somehow green doesn’t necessarily mean that you are buying the most ecological one.
    3. The “competition” is just bogus. I have a relative with an MBA. His dream job is to manage the promotion of a product that is essentially the same as the competition’s product!

    So, obviously in deciding whether using a public relations firm is good or bad largely depends on which side of the fence one is, vis-a-vis public relation firms in the first place.

    But specifically, many or even most of the uses that I’ve seen promoting green products are simply ploys. The green movement wised up to this right away, but shoppers are more easily gulled.

    You have only to take a look at the questions posed in this forum to see that many people are spinning their wheels asking whether some tiny thing in their lives can be more environmentally friendly. (A couple days ago I answered someone asking which sticky tapes were green. How much sticky tape do they use??) Unfortunately, people who aren’t thinking “big picture” get wrapped up in tape — winning a small battle, but losing the war.

    Overall, my guess is that while eco-friendly products are a good thing, but that the promotion of them in some cases causes more confusion than help.

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