Marks and Spencer on climate change

Going in to Marks and Spencers‘ store in Sandhurst on Sunday, I couldn’t help but see this large wall poster at the store entrance:

It wasn’t so much the statement that caught my attention but more the web address –

I like a company who says they have a Plan A for any purpose. It brings to mind a sense of connection with the way people tend to see things, plus a bit of humour.

So a visit to Plan A at the M&S website brings up a wide range of information, rich in its breadth and depth that tells you what this retailer is doing about climate change and things related.

One section is a number of videos with M&S senior executives talking about the company’s climate change initiatives and activities.

A bit stiff and corporate for my taste but ok nevertheless. I wonder how much more effective such video content would be if they’d just recorded regular employees talking informally with no scripting. More credible perhaps.

And what about uploading them to YouTube? That’s how you could really gain big exposure to your corporate video messaging, reaching a broader audience who will likely talk about you and your messaging (and that talk will be pro and con).

Perfect for this type of topic to get a conversation going.

While there are lots of videos about M&S on YouTube, there’s nothing there about M&S and climate change.

I’m reading the statement again in the poster above.

I wonder why the company says “We’ll aim to make…” rather than “We aim to make…” or “We will make…”? The “we’ll” as a contraction of “We will” is a bit lame, don’t you think?

Still, this is probably just nit-picking as I think M&S deserve praise for what they say they’re doing.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Geoff Livingston

    If there is a Plan A, will there also bean alternative Plan B?

    Good points. Companies and organizations still don’t understand that there is more to gain from putting content on YouTube, Flickr, etc. than there is to host it.

  2. Niall Cook

    You’re right, Neville. They do deserve praise for this. I don’t know many other companies in M&S’s peer group that are making such a visible commitment.

    I’ve heard a bit about Plan A from M&S’s comms director (who used to work here), and I’m sure there is more in the works. My guess is that this is a pretty major internal change programme, so I’m not sure the “regular employees” approach would be right just yet. This is clearly a strategic initiative driven from the CEO, so the senior people are probably the best spokespeople right now.

    YouTube? Maybe, as a distribution channel. Maybe not in terms of setting the context behind what they’re doing.

  3. neville

    I’d agree, Niall, no doubt there is more in the works.

    Concerning YouTube, I think any video content that’s available on a company’s public website, as is the case with M&S, is a candidate for YouTube.

    Thanks for the good wishes!

    Interesting story, John. Not sure I’d agree that M&S was ‘outed,’ which implies there was some kind of concealment being revealed, clearly not the case. Interesting, too, that the only retailer quoted in the Reuters story is M&S, saying there is much work still to do. They come across pretty credibly.

  4. Heather Gorringe

    I can vouch for M and S Plan A to some extent. In the summer the Marks and Spencer buyer phoned up and said they wanted to put Wiggly Wigglers Can-O-Worms worm composter in some of their stores! I was flabbergasted. I imagined a composter in amongst the lingerie…….
    Anyway turns out that Plan A is from the top and indeed there is no plan B. They have taken on Can-O-Worms in a few stores and online. They put it in the “Eco” section so no need to worry about wigglys in the underwear department as it were!
    I asked them how they chose Wiggly Wigglers and it they found us online. There we are…wiggle on (from Heather at Podcamp Boston)

Comments are closed.