Apr 23, 2024

ESG Communication through the Lens of PR

In today’s corporate landscape, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors have transcended mere buzzwords to become fundamental pillars of business strategy. As companies navigate this terrain, the role of Public Relations (PR) in communicating ESG initiatives is under increasing scrutiny.

With a robust 15-year background in communications and a Certified Sustainable Development Manager (CSDM), Huyen is deeply committed to shaping diverse facets of communication to foster the sustainable advancement of businesses. In 2021, she was recognized with the GM Award for her successful leadership in advancing the ESG agenda at her workplace.

Joining Ivy+Partners, Huyen seamlessly continued her passion and mission for ESG, now entrenched within the realm of PR. As she devoted considerable thought to navigating ESG communication through PR while upholding the ethos of Ivy+Partners, we engaged in a conversation with her to glean valuable insights on the matter. Here are some of the key takeaways:

ESG Communication: Beyond Surface Narratives

Traditional notions of PR often revolve around the idea of promoting an image, sometimes at the expense of transparency. Unfortunately, this stereotype also extends to ESG communication in PR, where companies may be tempted to showcase only the most favorable aspects of their sustainability efforts.

However, at Ivy+Partners, we hold firm to the belief that genuine communication is paramount. Our philosophy of PR hinges on portraying the true story of brands’ endeavors, even when it means acknowledging mistakes and setbacks.

ESG shouldn’t be a PR spin

One of the ongoing discussions surrounding ESG is the positioning of this function within an organization. This placement significantly influences the approach to PR. When housed within Marketing or Communications departments, there’s a risk of prioritizing PR outcomes over substantive initiatives. Conversely, when ESG resides in operational or financial domains, PR may take a back seat to tangible actions.

Regardless of organizational structure, the crux lies in communication, where Authenticity, Consistency, and Continuity are the guiding principles.


According to Huyen, the best approach is to tell the ESG stories truthfully, highlighting the efforts to address environmental, social, and governance issues. Authenticity helps brands to build trust by showing their commitment to real progress, not just optics. By being authentic in communication, brands can foster deeper connections with stakeholders and demonstrate a stronger commitment to sustainability.


Consistency in ESG communication involves delivering messages that are aligned with the company’s values and actions. Understanding the importance of consistency in building business reputation, Huyen and Ivy+Partners team work closely with clients to develop messaging that reflects their core values and long-term sustainability goals, whether it’s through press releases or social media posts.


Continuity in ESG communication is about maintaining actions and ongoing conversations with stakeholders, ensuring that they are continually informed and engaged with the company’s sustainability undertaking. This involves regular updates on progress, initiatives, and outcomes, seeing ESG as a journey, not a destination, as Huyen emphasized.

The Role of PR in Effective ESG Communication

From our vantage point, communicating ESG is as vital as implementing the initiatives themselves. Effective ESG communication is essential, both internally and externally. In which, PR serves as the linchpin for fostering dialogue between organizations and stakeholders regarding ESG initiatives, necessitating collaboration and aligning everyone’s efforts.

Huyen remarked.

More than anyone, Huyen understands that ESG isn’t a standalone endeavor; it’s interwoven into the fabric of business, driving meaningful changes. Transparency fosters trust, and data-driven tracking reinforces accountability.

In conclusion, navigating ESG communication requires a nuanced approach that delves deeper than surface-level narratives. As a PR consulting firm, Ivy+Partners stands at the forefront of this movement as we actively engage with brands to integrate the guiding principles above into their ESG communication strategies.