The PRCA’s Misinformation in the Climate Crisis Strategy Group and Opinium have launched their first research report which shows a readiness to fight climate change misinformation within the PR industry.
200 PR and communications professionals took part in the study to explore the current perception of the climate crisis and misinformation, the challenges, and the role of communications practitioners.
Key takeaways from the report results include:
– More than 75% of professionals feel that more needs to be done by the PR industry to tackle climate crisis-related misinformation
– A fifth of PR professionals feel nervous about their organisations getting involved in the climate crisis debate
– 60% of professionals believe that clients are too eager to jump on a bandwagon talking about the climate crisis, without enough action
Opinium’s complementary study of 2000 nationally representative UK adults found that 47% of social media users admitted to consuming content related to the climate crisis that was either made up or exaggerated over the past month via social media. Only 45% of those polled could accurely describe what misinformation actually is.
‘What this research has done is give this strategy group a clear goal: to help comms professionals fight the spread of misinformation by levelling up their knowledge, celebrating genuine action and providing best practice,’ said chair of the PRCA strategy group John Brown, CEO and founder of Don’t Cry Wolf.
‘This year has to be about moving beyond intent and into action. There is a heap of extraordinary work coming from industries including energy, manufacturing and technology that is perhaps being silenced in favour of bandwagoning and greenwashing. If this strategy group can play a meaningful role in changing the narrative from one of fear, nervousness and false promises to confidence, clarity and action, then we’ll have fulfilled our goal.’
Opinium research manager Sophie Holland added:
‘Misinformation surrounding the climate crisis is a major issue which creates confusion and negativity around this debate, it’s vital that people have the correct information to inform their choices. We are delighted to be supporting the PR and Comms industry in taking a lead on tackling this vital issue. These insights certainly highlight the scale of the issue at hand here, as well as the challenges that the PR and Comms industry faces in creating meaningful action on the climate crisis with the organisations they work with.’
Results from this research will be launched at an industry panel event today at 1pm. The strategy group is asking the industry to share examples of success and best practice via this webform.