Target Green

Q&A: Daniel Kessler, Greenpeace

Daniel Kessler, media officer at Greenpeace, recently answered some questions about Greenpeace’s media strategy via e-mail.

Target Green: As green issues become more mainstream, has Greenpeace seen an influx in media interest? How have you handled this?

Daniel Kessler: There is no doubt that green is in, which has increased interest in Greenpeace’s campaigns. The challenge now is to maintain the public’s interest in environmental issues, which is necessary to create real sustainable change. Without broad public support, it’s almost impossible to get decision-makers to do the right thing.

Target Green:  What are the communications opportunities and challenges for Greenpeace now that more Americans are interested in climate change and other environmental issues?

Kessler: The challenge is to differentiate Greenpeace from other environmental groups. We stand out from others by emphasizing our principled positions on the most important issues facing the world and by being action-orientated. The opportunities during this period of heightened awareness include growing our organization and the movement.

Target Green: Do you think the eco-movement has a bad reputation in America? Is this something that Greenpeace addresses?

Kessler: No, our membership is up and the interest from the news media is also on the rise. People are learning that it’s environmental groups that are looking out for them and the planet- not the politicians or the corporations, broadly speaking.

Target Green: What are your thoughts about the way the media is handling green issues, especially in light of this being an election year?

Kessler: The media has done a poor job of covering environmental issues, which is partly why we’ve reached this precarious place so quickly. A good example is the coverage of global warming during the recent political conventions. A cursory examination shows that reporters are not asking the politicians what their plan is for the biggest environmental problem we’ve ever faced. The media must ask the hard questions, and if they don’t they’ve failed in the jobs. Such negligence is inexcusable.

Target Green: What is the primary message you try to convey about Greenpeace and its initiatives when working with the media?

Kessler: Greenpeace tries to show that we are a principled campaigning organization dedicated to achieving results.  We work around the world and in your community to make sure that politicians and corporations are taking the right steps to make a a cleaner, greener world.

2 Comments so far

  1. susan ives on September 13th, 2008

    Kessler is right when he observes that the media needs to do more to hold government and corporations accountable for crimes against the environment. Greenpeace’s Green Apple campaign is a good example of what happens when media, business, and those of us who care about the environment all do our parts. Change happens when people insist on it. We can be thankful to Greenpeace for showing us the problem, setting a clear, achievable goal, taking the story to the media, and giving the people information and tools to take action. That’s leadership!

  2. Francorp on November 13th, 2008

    I hope that with the out of control oil prices earlier this year there was enough momentum to continue the green push for newer energy sources, more efficient vehicles and more green business practices. It is amazing to me that we see all of these massive green improvements when oil gets priced too high for people not to notice. We have gone decades without any real improvements and all of a sudden you see a thousand new “green” movements. I am proud to say that my firm, Francorp Consulting has truly come to embrace being green and treating our environment with the respect it deserves.

Leave a reply

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in any form without prior authorization.

Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of Haymarket Media's Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions