We need positive PR to raise the UK's recycling rates

Written by: Georgia Rae Laidlaw Brown | Published:
Georgia Rae Laidlaw Brown

With the UK forecast to miss the government target of recycling 50% of household waste by 2020, a stronger connection between the public and the recycling and waste management Industry has never been more important.

Studies show that 8 out of 10 people believe that recycling 'makes a difference' but have no idea how. So what if they had a clearer understanding of the impact that recycling can have and exactly how to do it?

Recycling and plastic pollution is extremely prevalent in the media at the moment and although there are plenty of incredible news stories, articles and blogs covering the issue, we very rarely hear from individuals within the recycling and waste management industry themselves, their views or company messages.

Across the UK, people should know the names of the local recycling and waste management companies in their area (and have a basic understanding of what they do), yet if asked they probably wouldn’t be able to due partly due to a lack of presence in the media.

This isn’t the fault of anyone and, like recycling, PR is an industry that is often misunderstood or overlooked. However, PR can prove to be invaluable. Strengthening your company’s relationship with the public (and in turn the media) has numerous advantages:

Education

Having your company news, events and opinions published within the public domain is crucial if you desire a call to action (in this case, recycling).

With government announcements regarding recycling making the headlines and hashtags such as #PlasticPollution #PlasticFree and #Zerowaste trending across social media platforms, the public’s desire to make a positive impact and to tackle issues regarding recycling hands-on is extremely high.

In particular, there is a collective desire to tackle plastic pollution so an audience is already waiting to listen to your news - nobody likes pollution and nobody wants to be recycling incorrectly.

By working with a PR team, your company message can be vocalised in a strategic and professional manner leading to your news getting published. This could obviously have a huge impact for the recycling and waste management industry - not only on individual companies themselves, but also on the public and environment.

Professional management and liaison with the press

Building a relationship with journalists and the media is vital; yet complex without being professionally trained. By having your company’s public relations managed professionally, those worries are instantly taken away as your reputation is managed by those who are already integrated within the media.

Having professionally written content that outlines your company messages will build your voice within your industry and strengthen not only customer understanding, but also their loyalty.

Who knows, we could even meet the 2020 target after all.

Georgia Rae Laidlaw Brown is director of public relations at Ether.



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