Deforestation

Asia Pulp & Paper video on sustainability, six reasons why it’s an example of good communication

There’s a good video here and below from Asia Pulp and Paper about their progress to date on sustainability.

I’ve covered the company for years, more recently with good news, rather than bad, which is nice.

Here’s a link to read some past and recent posts and see a captioned set of photos on their supply chain.

This video is a really effective piece of communication, for these six simple reasons, which other companies would do well to take note of:

1) It communicates complexity clearly. This is hard to do. It does it well.

2) It has credible voices, environmentalists, NGOs, local experts and of course the company. BUT:

3) The company itself is not always centre stage, it’s about the issues, not the company in isolation.

4) It’s not cheesy. That matters. There are no smiling stakeholders, no bad elevator muzak. Thank god.

5) It strikes a nice balance between mini documentary and very effective PR (nothing wrong with that).

6) It’s about the right length. From doing lots of online training, I’ve found any information rich video longer than ten minutes should usually be broken up in two or more videos. Retention for the viewer seems to improve if you do this.

I noted that YouTube comments are turned off. I can understand why given the controversies surrounding deforestation.

That raises an interesting question for me. At what point does preventing critical comments, or any comments, become prevention of rights to reply on social media?

The issue though, as we all know with social media, is it is so easy for people to make casual, often damaging comments which are sometimes not rooted in fact, or are deeply subjective.

I have to say, if I was APP, I would have done the same thing in this case. But one must be careful not to set precedents with this rationale.

That aside, the sustainable forestry issues and dealing with them, are what matter more.

See the video, linked here and below.

(I should declare a potential conflict of interest here. Robertsbridge, the consulting group, is sponsoring my conference on this area of preventing deforestation on October 28-29 in London. Tony Juniper, the video’s presenter, is a founding partner. They also sponsored this management briefing on the topic. However, this is not why I am posting this, I’m doing it because I do think this is a good piece of communications)

1 Comment

  1. It is an interesting video BUT it contains almost no independent or critical voices – no one from WWF for example and no mention of the 1 million hectares of rain forest previously cleared by APP. What APP have promised is great but lots of other paper companies have been supporting and using FSC certification for over a decade, there was no acknowledgement of that. Making it seem that APP is somehow leading the sustainable paper industry is misleading.

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