The Clean and Green Club, April 2017

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Shel Horowitz’s Clean and Green Marketing Tip, April 2017
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Listen to the Best Interview I’ve Ever Done
Kymm Nelsen of the Conscious Leadership Podcast managed to pull more from me than anyone else has ever done. In 51 minutes, we covered so much that I list 17 separate points on my interviews page —and that was not a complete list. It’s one of three shows I’ve added to that page. Visit the page to scan the list and note what to listen for—and of course to click over and read it.And watch this space for links to interviews by Internet marketer Willie Crawford, PR queen Annie Jennings’ Elite Wire, Lisa Faulkner of Game Changers, Ali Salman of Escape the 9 to 5 Grind, and Karina Cooke of the Business Code Podcast.
This Month’s Tip: Right and Wrong Ways to Respond to Breaking Climate Change News
Here are two press releases from two different NGOs responding to the same major news event (and the graphic that one of them included). I’m giving you the headline and first paragraph, and a link in each headline to read the whole thing—and then I’ll dissect them for you. Neither of these is a client and I had nothing to do with writing them—so this is purely about the lessons we can draw.

Example #1:

BSR’s Statement on the U.S. Administration Executive Order on Climate Change

BSR regrets today’s executive order from U.S. President Donald Trump to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, a set of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policies that are intended to reduce the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels and cut carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 percent by 2030. In combination with the administration’s dramatic cuts to climate programs at the EPA and U.S. State Department, this announcement undermines policies that have stimulated economic growth, consumer savings, job creation, infrastructure investment, private-sector competitiveness, and public health.

Example #2:

Trump Administration Climate Action Rollback Decision Is Misguided and Economically Damaging

The Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle the U.S. Climate Action Plan, including withdrawing support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, “is completely misguided and ignores the irreversible clean energy economy that is already underway, creating good-paying jobs and economic vitality in communities across the country,” Ceres President Mindy Lubber said in a statement today. Lubber served as the EPA Administrator for the New England Region in 2000.

What about each release did you find effective or ineffective?

Ask yourself just two questions: which worked better for you, and why? Then scroll down to see what I felt worked well and poorly about each.

If you’d like me to include your results in a summary (you won’t be identified), please drop me a note with your answers.

Shel’s Analysis:

While the BSR release did a better job understanding the need for rich content, with numerous links and a picture, the copy was pathetically weak. This press release:

  1. Used a wimpy headline that doesn’t take a position
  2. Chose a stock photo that doesn’t add anything to the reader’s understanding—why not a photo of demonstrators thanking a company for providing clean energy and good jobs?
  3. Made a terrible verb choice in “regrets”—which makes it sound like an accident that was BSR’s faults—rather than a much more appropriate verb, like “condemns”
  4. Buried the real story in the second paragraph, which has hard-hitting facts to make a clear case against the Executive Order:

Just 18 months ago, the U.S. federal government estimated the net economic benefits of the CPP at US$26-45 billion, with consumers set to save US$155 billion from 2020 to 2030. In addition, the CPP provides regulatory support to the clean energy economy, which, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy and Employment Report, supported more than 3 million U.S. jobs in 2016. The public health benefits are also significant. Research suggests the Clean Power Plan could prevent 3,600 premature deaths and more than 300,000 missed work and school days by cutting pollutants that contribute to soot and smog. – See more at: ”

I would have used a headline like “BSR: Trump’s Short-sighted Reversal of US Climate Change Leadership Could Cost Consumers $45 Billion and Kill 3600?—and then moved right into a bulleted list of the facts. I also would break up BSR’s long paragraphs.

This very long press release has enormous amounts of juicy content, but you’d never know it from the headline and lead. Even further down, it notes that companies investing in carbon mitigation are seeing 27% return on investment, 29% revenue increases, and 26% reduction in carbon emissions. Isn’t that a lot more newsworthy than “BSR regrets…”?

The Ceres release, while also flawed, is much better. It starts with a headline expressing a strong point of view (although we don’t know who is stating this point of view), moves into a sound bite, and finishes the first paragraph with a significant and highly relevant credential.

So what are the flaws in the Ceres document?

  1. The release itself is pretty much all rhetoric, without the facts to back it up. BSR had the facts, but didn’t call attention to them.
  2. There’s no link to Lubber’s complete statement (and only two links in the whole release).
  3. The important point about losing competitive advantage to China is all the way down at the bottom of the release.
  4. No graphics at all.
The correct link for my interview with Madeleine L’Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time, is’engle.html . Sorry about last month’s typo.
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Business and Marketing:
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Social Justice:
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Hear and Meet Shel
How Social Entrepreneurs Can Thrive in a Trumpian World: webinar put on by Green America (my fourth for them), Thursday, April 20, 1 pm ET/10 am PT. This conference line has only 26 seats but it should be available for unlimited replay if the recording comes out (last time, the recording failed 🙁 ).

I missed Book Expo America last year after attending every one since 1997. But it’s back in NYC and my daughter is NOT getting married the following week (as she did in 2016), so I expect to be attending (May 30-June 2). If there’s interest, perhaps we can organize a gathering.

Proud to be a speaker at Marc Guberti’s Content Marketing Success Summit, June 6-17. Other speakers include Ray Edwards, Ana Hoffman, and Jay Papasan. Details next month.

The Web Bender, Jack Humphrey, and JV Queen Gina Gaudio-Graves
interview me on Leverage Masters Radio Tuesday, June 27, noon ET/ 9 a.m. PT. Listen by calling 646-478-0823, or listen live online at (or later on replay at )

Friends Who Want to Help

Order your copy of Shel’s newest book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World

Learn how the business world can profit while solving hunger, poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change (hint: they’re all based in resource conflicts). Endorsed by Chicken Soup’s Jack Canfield, business blogger and bestselling author Seth Godin, and many others. Find out more and order from several major booksellers (or get autographed and inscribed copies directly from me).
Download a free sampler with several excerpts, the complete Table of Contents and Index, and all the endorsements.
Another Recommended BookThe Best of Us
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The Best of Us: People, Profit, and the Remaking of Modern Leadership by Cleve Stevens, Ph.D. (Beaufort Books, 2012)

If you’ve ever explored the world of “prosperity consciousness,” or seen the movie, “The Secret,” you’ve probably encountered the Law of Attraction (LOA). This is the idea that we can use our thoughts, feelings, and especially our mindsets to shape the reality we want to experience—and its corollary: if our lives are a mess, our attitude probably bears some responsibility; shift our attitude and we get better results.

While I’m not an LOA groupie, I do find merit in the concept. In my 20s (long before I encountered any LOA teachings), I made a conscious choice to have a happy life, and I noticed the effects very quickly. As an example, within a year of that decision, I had to waste a whole day of precious vacation to mail packages of crafts we’d purchased back to my house from Mexico. The old me would have fretted and fumed and wasted the whole rest of our vacation being angry at the lost day. But the new, happier me focused on “what a great story I’ll have to tell my grandchildren!” I wouldn’t even have my first child for another three years, so this strikes me now as quite remarkable.

And in my 50s, just a few years ago—with guidance from prosperity teacher Marilyn Jenett, who I’ve mentioned a few times in the “Friends Who Want to Help” section of this newsletter—I used LOA principles to visualize a recalcitrant tenant finding a great place to live and moving out voluntarily, which was a necessary step before we could sell that house. I have no proof of cause-and-effect, but I do know that after about six weeks of complaining that she would never find a comparable place for anywhere near the low rent we had charged, she found a place and happily vacated, and the sale went through.

What does all this have to do with a book on corporate leadership? This: Without ever using the phrase “Law of Attraction” or the acronym “LOA,” Stevens has written a dynamic exploration of using LOA not to gain personal wealth but to be a world-class leader (and he sees material wealth as flowing easily to those who exercise this kind of leadership).

Key to his view is taking complete personal responsibility for everything that happens to or through you, even for things over which you have no control. He recognizes that the lack of control starts with what kinds of families we’re born into and continues throughout life, but still makes a compelling case for acting as if you were in charge of your own life, even when outside factors chart the overall course. And doing this opens doors to great achievements, and ultimately to personal greatness. Stevens offers multiple roadmaps and exercises, including five acts (pp. 227-228) and nine traits (pp. 305-314) of transformation.

Mindset is a vital part of Stevens’ approach. Reminiscent of Yoda telling us “Do. Or do not. There is no try,” Stevens asks us to expand our horizons and get out of our own way. One of the most fascinating pieces is his distinction between options (narrow choices imposed by others) and possibilities (limitless, self-chosen, driven by intention that creates its own fulfillment mechanism).

I took eight pages of notes on this book. Obviously, there’s a lot I could share but I don’t want to saddle you with a 5000-word review. So here are ten more among my takeaways, among the several dozen:

  1. Transformative leadership loves profit—not as the end goal but as a byproduct of something higher: “capitalism cubed” (p. xxii)
  2. “Reasonable” and “reform” don’t get us to “transformative”; we have to be bold—and when we do, we run circles around the old-style transactional-leadership organizations (pp. 20, 330)
  3. Hatred can never create lasting good; it has to emerge from a positive vision of the possible (pp. 50-51)
  4. We play the victim because we lack faith in our ability to achieve our objectives—but we can learn to change these belief patterns by dong the right things with sufficient intensity and consistency (pp. 99, 102, 132, 134, 135)
  5. Intention is about internal power, not willfulness, which is an external force (pp. 165-166)
  6. Courage is not fearless; it’s about facing the fear until we can emerge from our self-made masks, not about powering through the fear as if it didn’t exist—fearlessness is a form of stupidity (pp. 202-205, 218)
  7. Loving, authentic criticism rooted in genuine desire to help the other person improve is usually well-received; phony disguised personal attacks are not—harness “radical honesty” but never use truth as a weapon (pp. 216-217, 292)
  8. Don’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or a need to conform in order to be liked (pp. 263-264)
  9. Few things are more empowering than “standing strong and tall for someone else” (p. 325)
  10. When moving an organization forward, first get agreement on the WHAT; there’s time later on to figure out the HOW, especially since the transformational process typically takes 12 to 36 months (pp. 334, 345).
Recent Interviews & Guest Articles: 

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About Shel & This Newsletter

As a green and social change business profitability/marketing consultant and copywriter…award-winning author of ten books…international speaker and trainer, blogger, syndicated columnist – Shel Horowitz shows how green, ethical, and socially conscious businesses can actually be *more* profitable than your less-green, less-socially-aware competitors. His award-winning 8th book Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet was a category bestseller for at least 34 months (and is now available exclusively through Shel), his newest book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World, has already won two awards and is endorsed by Jack Canfield and Seth Godin. Shel also helps authors/ publishers, small businesses, and organizations to market effectively, and turns unpublished writers into well-published authors.

Shel Horowitz’s consulting firm, Going Beyond Sustainability, is the first business ever to earn Green America’s rigorous Gold Certification as a leading green company. He’s an International Platform Association Certified Speaker and was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2011.
He began publishing his monthly newsletter all the way back in 1997, making it one of the oldest marketing e-zines (it’s changed names a few times along the way).
“As always, some of the links in this newsletter earn commissions—because I believe in the products and services enough to promote them (I get asked to endorse lots of other programs I don’t share with you, because I don’t find them worthy).”
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