This article from Marisa Long, USGBC Communications Director, was originally published on PR News on Sept. 19, 2016. Marisa and other leaders from USGBC’s Marketing Department will present Marketing and Sustainability: Tools and Tips to Tell Your Story at the upcoming Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. The session will take place Thursday, Oct. 6, from 2–3 p.m. in Petree Hall C.
Whether you are managing and growing a team in-house, looking to build better relationships with colleagues and senior executives or establishing the best way to work with consultants or clients, creating a PR team structure that produces results and meets demands is critical to success. PR pros must create a thoughtful plan, identify individual strengths, recognize weak spots and address change and challenges head on—all while creating compelling campaigns that produce results.
Growing to meet demands
At USGBC, we’ve had to navigate significant growth and find the right way to make sure PR was meeting demands. USGBC is a nonprofit dedicated to creating a healthier, more sustainably built environment. Our primary vehicle for this market transformation is LEED®, the world’s most widely used green building rating system.
Since LEED launched in 2000, it has grown to certify more than 5 billion square feet of space in more than 160 countries. Today, approximately 1.85 million square feet of space certifies every day. There are nearly 200,000 LEED-credentialed professionals and thousands of volunteers globally and more than 12,000 national member organizations, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses.
When I arrived in 2010, USGBC had about half the 30-plus staffers that today make up the marketing department. USGBC had somewhat plateaued in attracting new audiences and was seeking to expand its reach. I was tasked with overseeing the launch of the Center for Green Schools, which reached beyond the B2B community and introduced us to consumer audiences.
Over the past few years, our efforts also started expanding to new products and programs through USGBC’s sister organization, Green Business Certification Inc.™ (GBCI).
With so many B2B brands and B2C causes, disseminating information that resonates with the right audiences can be a challenge. The marketing department is responsible for growing USGBC’s marketplace presence and making sure the message is clear and bipartisan for a variety of stakeholders that expect information, transparency and support. And we are mission-based; ultimately,we are focused on advocating for a more sustainable future and providing solutions to create a sustainable environment for generations to come.