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Journal of Marketing Communications
Deadline: 15 March 2020
Marketing Communications and Sustainability
With renewed concern among both individual consumers and marketers about sustainability and ecological issues, sustainability is now well and truly a ‘megatrend’ (Mittelstaedt et al 2014). Recent instances of global protest events like the ‘school climate strike’ and ‘extinction rebellion’ testify to a greater awareness about climate change issues proliferating among the general public. The urgency to act and the significant threat posed by climate change are acutely felt across a large segment of the population. It is clear that a new generation of ecologically conscious consumers are emerging who feel a greater yearning to act urgently alas the time to bring back the planet to ecological normalcy may slip out soon. There is widespread evidence for change in consumption patterns with greater consumer interest for sustainable consumption like veganism or promotion of environmentally friendly packaging.
The role of marketing communication in propelling this significant change in attitude and behaviour is undeniable. Sustainability marketing and by extension, communication has evolved over the past decade and has become more persuasive and impactful. Greater use of social media platforms, more accurate identification of the target audience, very impactful message structures, creative content development and well calibrated message delivery have all contributed to the greater impact of sustainable marketing communication. While marketing sustainability and communication of sustainability related topics have seen significant research attention over the years, important topics and ideas that have emerged over the past decade require renewed attention and exploration.
A large number of studies in sustainability have focused on issues related to the consumption experience and consumer attitudes (see Kumar and Polonski, 2017 for a review). Some of these studies do touch upon topics related to communication efficacy as a major impact on the consumption. According to a largescale meta- analysis conducted by Kumar and Polonski (2017), roughly 15% of articles in the area of sustainability consumption looked at issues related to advertising and its impact on ecologically sustainable consumption.
While several journal special issues have looked at the role of marketing in general in the context of sustainable consumption, a more focused approach towards considering the marketing communications aspect in sustainable consumption is called for. This is in response to the realisation that depth, breadth and dynamics of marketing communication activities to promote sustainable consumption has only increased in the past few years. With greater emphasis on the part of corporates to communicate their sustainable practices, greater activism of NGOs espousing environmental causes, identification of new communication platforms for communication with their varying levels and dynamics of impact, it is imperative to provide greater depth and focus to this extremely important research stream.
The present special issue therefore invites submissions across a range of topics related to marketing communications and sustainability. Within the larger ambit of marketing communication and sustainability we invite studies that have followed a wide range of research approaches including qualitative or quantitative approaches, conceptual papers, as well as literature reviews. We specifically wish to publish studies from a wide range of geographic contexts. The focus of topics include the following but by no means is exhaustive:
- Communicating sustainability practices by corporates to stakeholders
- Social media and sustainability communication
- Green advertising effectiveness, practices, approaches from around the world
- Media choice and media planning for sustainability communication
- Emotional versus rational treatment in sustainability communication
- Creative approaches in sustainability related communication
- Sustainability communication and target segments
- Measuring effectiveness of sustainability communication
- Sustainability communication and public relation campaigns
- Source credibility issues in communicating sustainability
- Supporting sustainability through activism (corporate, consumer, government, NGOs, non-profits)
- Public Relations and sustainability communication practices
- Sustainability communication for Gen Y and gen Z- message, media tool, media planning and effectiveness
Prof. Sunil Sahadev, Professor of Marketing, Salford Business School, University of Salford, UK
Dr. Sidharth Muralidharan, Associate Professor of Advertising, Tremlin Advertising Institute, Southern Methodist University, Texas, USA
Dr. Pallavi Singh, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Explore Author Services
Authors should submit manuscripts no more than 6,000 words, inclusive of the abstract.
All submissions must follow the Journal of Marketing Management’s Instructions for Authors.
Please submit your manuscripts to RJMC’s ScholarOne site.
Issue announcement: September 15, 2019
Submission Deadline: March 15, 2020
Special Issue release: Accepted papers once cleared for copyright and proofs returned etc, will be published online via iFirst. The printed version will follow, anticipated date 2021.