Frequently Asked Questions
- Who can join Communicators Declare?
- Why should communicators declare?
- What do I have to do if I sign the pledge?
- What is involved in each of the pledge options?
- What kind of comms work is ‘against the rules’?
- How can I help Communicators Declare?
Who can join Communicators Declare?
All communication, marketing, media, creative and advertising professionals. Do you craft, promote, sell or place messages that have the potential to reach and influence many people? Do you care about the climate crisis? If so, this movement is for you.
Members include comms professionals from all sectors including marketers, journalists, creatives, media traders & advertisers, public relations experts, content producers, strategists, advertising & marketing technology specialists, social media influencers, professional bloggers, authors and many more.
Why should communicators declare?
Climate breakdown is one of the most serious issues of our time.
As communicators, we know that words matter. The pen is mightier than the sword, and our industries hold great influence over the messages that reach the public and the projects that gain social licence.
We craft, promote, sell and place messages, both written and visual, that are seen by millions and help to shape our culture, values and future. Collectively, we have great power, and we need to use it wisely.
For too long our industries have been helping companies that produce greenhouse gas pollution by furthering their interests and protecting their reputations.
To have any chance of reaching net zero, communicators must be aware, declare and act.
For more on how communicators can make a difference, read: How conversations and messaging can help transform the world
What do I have to do if I sign the pledge?
After signing the pledge, you can be involved as little or as much as you like.
If you have limited time, you can simply sign the ‘Declare’ pledge that your work won’t support any activities, organisations or individuals that promote the continuation of high greenhouse gas pollution or deception around science or climate actions.
DECLARING is powerful as it helps to demonstrate there are many people in our industries who recognise the gravity of the climate situation and are actively choosing not to contribute to it through their work. This puts moral pressure on those choosing otherwise and encourages them to re-evaluate.
What is involved in each of the options: Declare and Act?
There are two pledge options – Declare and Act – to recognise the different ways people are able to contribute. You can choose either option, or both.
I declare my work as a communicator will not support any activities, organisations or individuals that promote:
- the growth of fossil fuels
- the continuation of high greenhouse gas pollution as ‘business as usual’
- deception, distraction or spin around science or climate actions.
- Actively raise awareness of the climate emergency and the urgent need for action
- Share stories of success as individuals, organisations, and governments make positive climate choices, building hope and optimism in our collective ability to provide a healthy, liveable planet for future generations
- Encourage others to sign the Communicators Declare pledge
- Reduce my carbon footprint and live a more sustainable life.
What kind of comms work is ‘against the rules’?
We recognise the need to be pragmatic and understand that society will not, nor cannot, transform over night. In saying this, scientists have been clear that we must urgently transition away from certain industries and ways of living to avoid climate breakdown.
To help provide more clarity, here are eight examples of communication work that does not align with the principles of Communicators Declare:
- providing ‘false equivalence’ of the views of climate change deniers compared with climate change scientists in a news article (see this article on The Conversation for more)
- developing a creative campaign with messages that encourage unconscious consumerism, such as ‘fast fashion’
- placing a media advertisement in a publication, or on a channel, that repeatedly gives a platform to climate deniers
- accepting sponsorship for an event from a company promoting new fossil fuel projects
- providing digital marketing services to assist a company to acquire equipment required for a new thermal coal mine project
- Strategising messaging for a company that advocates for excessive meat consumption
- copy editing community consultation material for a new oil well project
- providing graphic design services for a frequent flyers campaign that encourages excessive air travel.
On the flip side, here are four possibly unexpected examples that do align with the principles of Communicators Declare:
- advertising for a sustainable mining conference, where attendees are expected to be genuinely focused on lessening the climate impacts of their work
- providing media relations services for a vehicle manufacturer who has set a credible target to become carbon neutral
- strategising messaging for a grocery store chain that has set ambitious targets to reduce their plastic and organic waste, and is genuine about achieving them
- writing web copy for a ‘neutral’ organisation in an industry with a relatively low carbon footprint, such as a doctor’s surgery or dance school.
Hopefully this gives a clear picture of the kind of work we are encouraging our industries to move away from, to help ensure a safe climate.
How can I help Communicators Declare?
Please spread the word amongst your networks and encourage all communication, marketing, media, creative and advertising professionals to join Communicators Declare.
If you would like to get more involved, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Communicators Declare is run entirely by volunteers and we would love to put your skills to good use.