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Green Industries

Doing Green Business Report – 2012

On Monday 27 February 2012 Thomas George MP, Member for Lismore, officially launched ‘Doing Green Business’ the first report of RDA-NR’s Green Industries Project at the Lismore City Hall.

The launch followed a workshop led by journalists Liz Minchin (The Age) and Annalee Knight (Sydney Morning Herald) designed to help green businesses in the region promote their products and services more effectively.

Doing ‘green’ business contains:

  • a summary of the international and national policy drivers behind the current growth in the green industry sector,
  • the findings of an online survey into the needs of green businesses in the region, and
  • the results of the consultation program with green businesses and other key stakeholders.

If you operate a green business in the Northern Rivers and would like to participate in further activities and forums, please email us.

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What is a green business?

For the purpose of the project the following definition of ‘green business’ was adopted:

Green businesses have a commercial focus on goods and services that measure, prevent, reduce or repair environmental damage. This includes impacts on eco-systems, as well as management of specific resources such as energy, water, waste, soil and air.

Green businesses incorporate a wide range of technologies, products and services that create environmental benefit, reduce environmental risks and impacts, minimise pollution, energy and resource use, and provide sustainable alternatives to current higher impact practices.

Meet the Press Event, 27 February 2012

As part of the launch of the ‘Doing Green Business’ report, about 30 representatives from Northern Rivers Green Businesses came to a workshop led by Liz Minchin (Walkely Award winner and former editor of The Saturday Age) and Anneli Knight (Freelance journalist and former reporter from The Sydney Morning Herald).

The workshop came out of a finding in the report that Green Businesses wanted more knowledge about marketing and communicating their products and services.

Liz gave an account of current trends in Australia and overseas regarding reporting on environmental issues and how tjhe political climate, editorial policy and pressure for available space is affecting communication about environmental and sustainability issues.

Anneli followed this with her ‘top tips’ on how to get a story published by the media (paraphrased below) and facilitated a lively discussion based on participants’ experiences of working with the media.

Anneli Knight’s ‘top 10 tips’ for getting your story in the press

  1. The first three letters of ‘news’ spell ‘new’. Journalists love a scoop and to be telling their readers something that they haven’t heard before.
  2. Know the audience you want to reach, and the people who read the paper/s you are targeting. What impact will your goods/services have on the readers/listeners? Make your story relevant to them. Think laterally about different sections of a large newspaper or different programs on the radio …  could your story appear in news, home/lifestyle, business, etc. News is high impact but risky, as something more urgent (eg car crash) might happen to knock your story out.
  3. Are you part of a ‘trend’? Journalists love to be trend-spotters… maybe there’s some data or figures suggesting you are part of a wider trend, use it, especially if it’s a trend that hasn’t yet been identified.
  4. How do your products or services respond to a current problem, issue or new government policy? How does your story fit into conflict or controversy? Unfortunately there isn’t a huge market for good news (in the national press, regional press are more likely to run good news) readers love bad news.
  5. Position yourself as an expert in your field and make yourself available for interview… give your mobile number as journalists work to tight deadlines and if you are reliable and available, you can help them!
  6. Contact a few journalists every week and have a chat with them… but make sure you aren’t calling them 10 minutes before they have to file their copy! Journalists talk to each other and share their contacts.
  7. Not all stories come from press releases. Journalists find stories in other media, on from websites, in social media and via word of mouth. How can you reach them?
  8. Does your story stand the Friday night ‘pub test’?  Is it quirky, unusual or surprising?
  9. Use your own website to show journalists how media-savvy you are, including copies of previous articles that have been written about your company, products or services.
  10. Beware of selling exactly the same story to multiple journalists, they are competing with each other for readers. Be up front if you are pitching the same story to others.

Meet the Experts - 'Speed Dating' Event, 30 May 2012

Following our successful ‘Meet the Press’ workshop with journalists Liz Minchin (the Age) and Anneli Knight (SMH) in February, representatives from a dozen Green Businesses met with a group of experts in a ‘speed dating’ event at the Lismore Workers Club on 30 May 2012. Although bad weather and widespread colds and ‘flu prevented a number from attending, the feedback from participants and our experts was very positive.

Respondents to last year’s Green  Business survey indicated they wanted more assistance with business planning, finance, commercialisation and export, and this event was a chance to meet ‘one-to-one’ with a variety of professionals from different disciplines.

Download PDFs of the presentations from two of our experts by clicking the links below:

Rowena Ryan (AusIndustry) This presentation includes information about AusIndusty’s Clean Tech grant programs and information about Enterprise Connect and IP Australia.

Kate Ingham (Alchemy Equities) This presentation includes information on ways to raise capital funds.

Our other ‘experts’  included:

  • Craig Jenkins –  NSW Trade & Investment
  • Robert Rosen  – Community finance/alternative business structures
  • Bill Potter – Varsity Intellectual Property
  • Tony Zillig – NorBEC
  • Simon Jones – Financial Sense
  • Rod Mitchell – St George Bank
  • Sarah Lane – ANZ


The event was supported by AusIndustry and NSW Trade & Investment.

The Green Industries Project is supported with financial assistance from the NSW Government.

Pictures (above) courtesy of: Australian Hemp Masonry; Ecoteam; Si Clean Energy

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