IEMA news coverage more than doubles

7th April 2014

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John Gordon

Coverage of IEMA's activities and viewpoints on environmental issues has increased 150% in the first three months of 2014

Members made clear throughout the consultation last year on IEMA’s Vision 2020 that they wanted the Institute to increase its media presence to raise the profile of the environment profession.

IEMA has always engaged with relevant environmental and business titles on key issues – such as our call for the UK government to introduce mandatory greenhouse-gas reporting and the revision of ISO 14001. However, members said they wanted IEMA to appear in the media more often, and speak on more issues in greater depth.

As a result, since the start of 2014, IEMA has responded positively. The first quarter’s list of media coverage demonstrates that the Institute’s independent and evidence-based comment is in demand from many online, print and broadcast organisations.

Between 10 January – the date of IEMA’s first piece of 2014 media coverage in The ENDS Report – and 31 March, IEMA received more than 8,000 words of coverage in 50 articles and broadcasts across 28 media outlets. This is a 150% increase in coverage on the same period in 2013.

The fact that the Institute has appeared on multiple occasions in some titles – The ENDS Report, Business Green and Environment Analyst, for example – demonstrates how IEMA is increasingly regarded as a reliable and authoritative commentator on environmental issues.

A notable piece of coverage came on 21 February, with Martin Baxter, IEMA’s executive director of policy, appearing on BBC Radio 5Live’s Shelagh Fogarty show to provide an environmental perspective into the flooding, which at the time was affecting large parts of the West Country and parts of Wales.

Commenting on the need for skilled professionals to be kept at the front line of flood defence management and for better leadership from the government, Baxter said: “We need a coordinated response which uses the expertise of environment and sustainability professionals to mitigate challenges like flooding because they are the ones who understand the issues and have the technical knowledge to apply the right measures.

“Government agencies and parties really do need to work much closer together, along with IEMA and other organisations, because we need a consensus for action and we need to provide communities with the necessary flood protection.”

The Institute’s increased visibility in the media has not been limited to providing comment and reaction to news stories. Through effective media relations, IEMA has provided well positioned opinion pieces to non-environmental publications.

In March, for example, policy and practice lead Nick Blyth wrote a detailed piece on reporting greenhouse-gas emissions for Facilities Management magazine, while chief executive Tim Balcon provided an enthusiastic account of the value of environmental skills to business for Financial Director magazine.

Balcon’s piece concluded with a call to finance directors to use their influence to ensure their organisation is protected from risk and positioned to make savings.

“Green skills are for the 21st century, a time where the future of business is more threatened by the changing climate than a faltering economy,” he wrote. “Investing in green skills not only protects businesses from legal and environmental risks, but strengthens the organisation’s ability to innovate and accumulate savings.

“Financial directors, with your eye on the security of your entire business, have the ideal leadership opportunity to ensure that the right people with the right skills are in place to stimulate valuable savings.”

Raising IEMA’s media voice as an authority in non-environmental titles ensures that those working in roles and industries outside traditional environment management receive its messages on skills and practices. With campaigns targeting national, international, HR and business titles planned for the coming months, widespread coverage is set to increase throughout 2014.

IEMA’s proactive and reactive media commentary will continue throughout 2014, and members can find out where IEMA is achieving coverage as it happens via the Institute’s Twitter feed @iemanet.

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