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ESG investment has been rising rapidly across the globe, as investors see opportunities to make a difference, mitigate growing ESG risks, and tap into meaningful returns. This in turn has seen a rise in media coverage – by our estimate there was a 70% growth in coverage of ESG in 2020 in our global sample of influential media. 

With more virtual and physical column centimetres being devoted to topics in ESG, it’s more important than ever to have a communications and marketing strategy that makes sense. To provide insight and perspective, Cognito has spent the last two months conducting research on the sector. 

We examined two years of coverage in 16 global publications, categorising over 4,000 articles. We spoke to communicators working inside asset management companies and reporters who write on these issues. We also examined the communications output of 35 asset managers, classifying the news and content they release to the market. 

All of our research, along with analysis and advice, is detailed in “Media communications for ESG Investment: time for a temperature check”, which you can download on this page.


75% Only 17% 46%
Rise in media
coverage of ESG
of ESG stories in the business press focus only
on a single firm, rather than broader issues
Of asset manager communications consists of types of news that are likely to feature only in a story about a single firm focused on a fund


In many ways, we are in the middle of a great period of innovation in ESG investing – a thousand flowers are now in bloom. That will change. In time, the ESG reputations of individual asset management firms will likely get much more fixed in the minds of investors and journalists. For now there’s still some fluidity in media perceptions. We believe that firms should exploit this to grab some high ground for their ESG investment brands and personality.

After reading the report, please get in touch if you would like to discuss the findings in additional detail, and see how we could help build and implement your public relations and marketing strategy. We are already helping some of the leading names in the field communicate innovative products and services. Whether it is showcasing an engagement story, re-positioning a legacy brand, launching a new product or a piece of technology to help quantify sustainable investing, we can help. 

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