Environmental issues are constantly being communicated. Everyone, all the time, is being affected by the environment but the question is who is communicating the environmental findings/issues happening daily?” While scientists are specialists in researching, most are not specialists in communicating their findings to the general public. This is where environmental public relations specialists become superheroes.
Here is what you need to know about environmental public relations:
What do environmental public relations specialist do
Environmental PR specialists explain, mediate and assist in communicating environmental issues and topics to the public.
Common Tasks for an environmental PR specialist include:
- Media campaigns formed by analyzing current environmental conditions of a particular location
- Develop and implement goals/objectives for environmental departments
- Decide how to represent environmental business decisions to the public
- Write grant proposals to attain funding for a department
- Write and enact environmental education strategies
Environmental PR jobs include but are not limited to:
- Environmental nonprofits and non-governmental advocacy agencies
- PR agencies that assist clients with sustainability and environmental communication
- Local, state and federal government agencies
- Private corporations (Environmental PR sometimes falls under Corporate Social Responsibility “CSR”)
How to get started.
Getting an internship with an environmental PR agency is the next step to getting the full-time gig but what work can you do NOW to get that internship? Working with a local environmental nonprofit is a great way to build a portfolio with relevant environmental affairs and writing samples. Although most of your work in the beginning stages of interning will be without compensation, local businesses are always looking for an extra hand in media and social content work (especially nonprofits.) Once you build a relationship with a local business or nonprofit, you can potentially become their right-hand person when they need PR help (it is called “public relations” for a reason!) It’s a great idea to start with gaining a quality business relationship to build up your personal portfolio, all while working on important environmental issues.
I’m interested in environmental issues, especially water quality, so I contacted an environmental nonprofit near my university. Within a few weeks, I composed eight public service announcements about what the public can do to keep Lake Superior clean from pollutants. The public service announcements are now being broadcasted across radio stations in my state.
Environmental issues are ongoing and it takes a special person to be able to communicate these problems. The public relations field has many avenues to look into but why not explore the one in your backyard! I believe that environmental public relations specialists are the modern-day superhero —we may not have stretchy tights and a mask but we have a chance to use our skills to save the world!
Haley Bussell serves as the 2017-2018 Northern Michigan University PRSSA vice president of Chapter and Professional Development. She is passionate about environmental issues, music and the outdoors. Connect with her on Instagram @haleybussell or connect with her on LinkedIn.