We could argue successfully that the White House is the premier organization devoted to the care of its constituents. The entire country is run out of the place — citizens are the customers, or they should be. So if the White House is in fact in the customer service business, then it may consider becoming a “green” house.
I like the idea that customer service is the new marketing. I’ve been warming up to it for quite some time. This definition shifts the focus of what we do to put the right people at the center.
There is a lot of talk and concern revolving around sustainable living these days. How can we make sure that the initiatives started today will continue in the future? Why not work on securing a succession plan for all these initiatives? If we think that sustainability is a fad, something that organizations are joining to create buzz, then setting the example may be just what we need.
I see the power of branding benefiting both the White House and the people it serves. And since people emulate what you show you care about, I see a lot of opportunity on both sides to own our respective brands. So here are five steps to a better brand for a White House that goes “green”:
1. Replace the lengthy reports with 5-step formats blog posts. What better way to raise green awareness than to lead a conversation around what you’re doing and inviting citizens to participate?
2. Build on the glitz factor. Invite citizens to your green successes awards. By making your initiative more public and accessible through word of mouth, you can build a lot of buzz. Imagine the fortunate few invited to attend a gala with the people who represent them.
3. Whenever something needs to be replaced in the building itself, do it the sustainable way. It’s ok to do something in house that makes you feel you’re making a difference – it helps with self-image.
4. Create a ticker with scrolling results of sustainable initiatives in the government. Show it at the bottom of televised government-related functions. You’ll be amazed at the emotional impact that numbers in that format has.
5. Use economics to convince industry to join in. I’m no economist, but here’s an idea. Put a cap on pollution and waste released by company by industry. Recommend the filters and systems to use, then let companies buy the right to additional pollution at a higher cost. You may be surprised at the results. It’s always cheaper to do things the right way. And maybe getting a special seal of recognition to display proudly on company web sites will help.
As the White House goes “green”, we can all take 5 steps to go green, too.