New B Corp? The media doesn't want to know. Unless...

8 July 2024 | 5 min read | ESG
Portrait photo of Paul MacKenzie-Cummins
Paul MacKenzie-Cummins

If you’re looking to promote your status as a newly certified B Corp via the media, think again. The scale of the movement in the last two years has made it a lot harder to garner any media attention (although not impossible as you’ll discover below). And it’s all because of one thing: phenomenal growth.

The B Corp movement started in 2007 and it took 14 years for the number of accredited businesses in the UK to reach 400 – we became the 450-something when we gained B Corp status in 2021.

By November 2023, that number more than doubled to 1,000. In just five months, this figure doubled again to 2,000 in April 2024, and today there are 2,800 certified B Corps in the UK.

So, in less than 12 months, the movement has almost tripled in size and is currently growing at a rate of around 64 new businesses certified as a B Corp every week.

This is great for the movement and the obvious environmental and social impact this will have. However, it is no longer newsworthy.

Even in 2021, communicating our news that we had become a B Corp was a tough sell. Nationally, there were hundreds of us and within the PR industry itself six other agencies had gained their status ahead of us.

The B Corp movement has tripled in size in under a year and is currently growing at a rate of around 64 new businesses certified as a B Corp every week.

To get the media interest we were looking for, a different tact was required. The ‘hook’ was that we were only the second company in Bath to gain certification and the second PR agency in the South West to do so. Suddenly, we were seen as early pioneers of the B Corp movement and that piqued the interest of business journalists in our region.

The challenge that all new B Corps have today is how to communicate their new status in a way that will get them coverage in the media. It isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It can – you just need to really think about how to make it interesting to the media.

How to get your B Corp announcement in the media

It is not enough to issue a press release to the local, regional or trade media announcing your B Corp certification. Journalists receive dozens of these every week, so what makes your announcement stand out – how will it differ?

Here’s some tips to consider:

Are you the first in your sector to become certified, or one of the earliest to do so?
  • If the answer is yes, you have your hook. For example, you could say: “Company X has become the first online-only event management business in the UK to become a certified B Corp.”
If you have a strong local or regional presence, how many other B Corps are there?
  • If the number is low (ideally in single digits) then you have a good chance of generating media coverage because you are a rarity. You could say: “Company X has successfully been awarded B Corp status and becomes only the second firm in Brillville to be recognised for its superior commitment to the environment and community.”
Where are you based, does your location have relevance to the B Corp movement?
  • This is important because your area or region may have a higher number of B Corp businesses compared to other regions. Bristol, for example, has the highest concentration of B Corps in the UK outside London (the city with the highest number of B Corps in the world), so your press hook could be that your businesses has joined a growing community of like-minded committed to making the regional economy the most sustainable and socially-led in the UK.
Why did you want to become a B Corp in the first place?
  • The B Corp movement does have its critics who feel that a) it’s lack of action again the likes of Havas, BrewDog, and Nespresso is damaging, and b) too many businesses are jumping on the bandwagon to ‘look good’ rather than ‘do good’ to lure new customers. So, why did you become one, what does it mean to your people, and why should anyone care? This latter question may sound harsh, but you need to address it.

Our mantra is ‘Great stories, told Clearly.’ The reason why 71 per cent* of our clients renew their contracts multiple times over is because we find the right angles to tell their stories in ways that get them the media attention they want.

We’re a B Corp PR agency that works with a growing number of other B Corps across the UK to get their message out there.

If you need support in this area, get in touch with us today.

*June 2024