Media shape our future
Media and especially social media companies shape the public’s opinion nowadays. They provide a voice for the voiceless and they bring an escape from the struggles of daily life. Media companies influence what we listen, watch and read. However, these big media concerns are still often forgotten as main environmental and social actors. Partly, this is due to the fact that the media’s impact can not be measured very easily. The responsibility of media companies is not their existence alone but also their ability to shape the public’s opinion. Due to “brainprints” they leave on the public, positive or negative change can be established. Our own “brainprint” is of course very biased. Do you ever have the feeling that you are having the same conversation about sustainability over and over again? Many people in my surroundings are mentioning this. I think it’s time to take sustainability out tot he masses. If we want to accomplish the goals we’ve been talking about too many times, spread the word then!
The new media serves the growing awareness of sustainability and it helps for pushing pro-social and pro-environmental change. Social media gives organizations and individuals the power to correspond with vast audiences. Besides social media’s large reach, social media is in the core about collaboration and community feelings. This is entirely in line with the values of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Therefore, corporations and people involved in the field of sustainability can make positive use of this. An example how companies can use social media is it increases consumer’s trust. While social media can praise responsible businesses, it can on the other hand create tremendous pressure on sustainable irresponsible businesses. This will result in a positive effect on sustainable progress within companies.
Also environmental organizations use social media for spreading their word and gain results. For example, in 2011 Greenpeace launched an online campaign against Nestle. And in the end Greenpeace succeeded to force Nestle to adopt more sustainable business models and practices in Brazil and Indonesia. In the campaign against the dozens of leading brands in the apparel industry also succeeded with the results that these companies adopted more sustainable processes in their business. There are many examples where popular worldwide brands, like Burger King and Unilever, were forced to change their business practices duet o online initiatives.
The increasingly powerful digital technologies have radically increased the reach of social media. Due to social media, climate activists are able to mobilize people in a way which could transform society’s system. Organizations and individuals nowadays begin to understand the power of social media. Social media is a powerful platform that transforms business practices in a positive way. Whether social media is used by companies to engage in negotiations about sustainability topics, or as an effective resource for change, I state that social media is shaping our future!