By Claire Thompson, freelance PR Consultant, Waves PR
As a big Greenpeace fan on a personal level, I had emails this morning with a very easy sign up to protest message. Videos, photos, Facebook… great social stuff, all in the mix. The tactics are fantastic, brilliantly attention grabbing, brilliantly orchestrated. ‘Old Street’, where the storm troopers assembled, has been trending on Twitter.
But even as a Greenpeace fan, I’m somehow a little reticent about rubber stamping it from a PR perspective. Because at least Volkswagen does have some more ecologically friendly cars, albeit marginalised, within it’s fleet, whilst there are other car manufacturers that don’t. The green movement is strong in Germany, so maybe that filtered into their thinking as part of their strategy. Only time will tell whether they’ve made a difference, but my big fear for Greenpeace is that their tactics, rather than their message, are what’s grabbing the attention.
Their social media activity around palm oil only really gathered pace and got people’s backs up when Nestle got the hump and removed and tweet and objected to a picture using their logo. Yes, some extra attention reached the ears of a general public which might not otherwise have engaged with the campaign, but Greenpeace is running the risk of becoming the ‘Fathers for Justice’ of the eco-World: the tactics attracting more attention for themselves than for their message/cause.