Friday, August 28, 2009

GREEN LIVING: Starting an Environmental Awards Program

By Rex Tubbs

The first thing is to "Develop an Environmental Awards Mission Statement". To be successful over time you need to define what you want to accomplish when giving environmental awards. Just saying you want to hand out some environmental awards to deserving people can lead to a disaster. Here are some ideas to give you direction:

1. Recognizing the role of innovative environmentalism with Awards

2. Recognizing outstanding achievement that directly impacts the environmental quality

3. An incentive to award companies who adopt pollution prevention strategies

4. Awards program recognizing environmental challenges by using innovative and environmentally sustainable practices or creative partnerships

5. Awards to empower educators for a healthier environment

6. Establishing an Environmental Hall of Fame

7. Developing an environmental stewardship awards

8. Keep (area) Beautiful Environmental Awards

9. Awards program to recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions in conserving precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the area's economy.

10. When a teacher goes above and beyond the call of duty and truly makes an environmental difference in a child's life, they deserve special recognition.

Keep the mission statement short and sweet. I put in one long one. I think you can see what I mean.

What do you want to promote in the environmental movement?

Here are three goals to promote: Change people's attitudes - Awareness to environmental issues - Award those who have made a difference. I suggest picking one of these to start and have multiple award winners based on age groups or some other criteria. As time goes by, you may want add additional environmental goals. It is wise to develop a sharp focus to your awards. The test is: Does the general public understand what you are trying to achieve with your awards program. Also, will the public buy in to what you are doing?

What is the scope of your environmental awards program?

Is your scope local, regional, national, just within your own membership or open to the public? Are you only going to allow members of your organization or open to the public to be winners? Another idea is to partner with another group. This will give more prestige to the event.

How to promote your environmental awards program

It's not just the event and you feeling good for what you have done. The greater good is when you share to the world your winners and inspire others to do environmental projects, increase the awareness in environmental issues. This is also how you get people to apply for next year's awards.

A website showing the winners in previous years is a great start. It is up 24/7 and you can put your best foot forward. Make sure the site is search engine friendly. Many organizations just add a page to their present websites. That's OK, but I would have a separate site about your environmental awards. This site can also be used to download applications for next year's awards. Also have all your rules and regulations for entry.

Use the traditional Press Release. This should be used to announce the awards and also announce the winners. Make a list of newspapers, radio stations, TV stations and even magazines that would have readers (listeners) that would be interested in your event.. The head line is critical to your success. Your press release should read like a newspaper article. That first paragraph has to hook the reader. It also needs to hook the reporter to run your story.

Here is a secret on successful press releases - Make a list of questions of what the general public would like to know about your awards program and event. Then answer them. If possible, tell a success story how your awards program or organization has made a difference. Stories work every time in a press release.

So far I've only talked about traditional media. If your scope is national, place your press releases on internet press release sites. The last point use press releases, not just one press release. Change up your title on different releases. Change around the first paragraph that needs to catch the attention of the reporter. Send out a series of press releases over a months time. Yes, you can also place ads in different media, do Word of Mouth with Flyers, but the real success comes from an effective web site and PR program. Celebrity endorsements and celebrities handing out the environmental awards is a big plus for publicity and attendance for your event.

Developing fair criteria for choosing the winners

No good old boys making a decision. It must be made on which entry most closely matched the criteria that was given to win this award. The awards have to be fair, somewhat hard to win, but not almost impossible to win. Also you want environmental winners that will be able to champion your environmental cause. Maybe they can become a spokes person for your organization. Think big picture.

I hope this information stimulates thought. My goal is for you to launch a successful environmental awards program for your organization.

Engraving Connection - has been in business for 30 years. Rex launched a new web site for environmental awards: where additional information is available for starting an environmental awards program. Rex M. Tubbs can be reached at 734-459-3180.

Article Source:

No comments:

Post a Comment