What We’re Up To

A Coffee with Michelle Moreh, Account Director

April 20th, 2023

As part of Earth Month, we’re sharing a series of weekly blog posts with strategies, insights and conversations with our Environment & Climate PR team.

We grabbed coffee with our Advocacy Account Director Michelle Moreh to talk about how organizations can leverage Earth Month to highlight their work, why she joined BerlinRosen, and even chat about some of her favorite movies like “Crazy, Stupid, Love”.

How do you like your coffee?

I would say my favorite is an iced latte with cinnamon and honey. But I am just as much of a matcha drinker, which is maybe a giveaway that I’m one of BerlinRosen’s LA team members. 

Tell me about what you do at BerlinRosen.

I’m an Account Director in our Advocacy practice. I work with clients that are primarily foundations and philanthropies, higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations, and I work with them across a host of issues. Those issues range from environmental sustainability to education to health and human rights, which includes gender and reproductive equity.

Why did you join BerlinRosen?

I’ve long had a passion for strategic communications, but it’s also always been important to me to have a mission-driven component in the work that I do. BerlinRosen stood out to me because our clients are on the front lines of advancing progress and justice on some of the most urgent issues of our time. And I think BR brings together a team of thoughtful communications strategists who continuously show up for our clients. I’ve valued the opportunity to get to work with team members from across different experiences, perspectives and areas of expertise. Some come from government, some come from the private sector and some come from campaigns. And so it’s this really awesome, collaborative effort among people who bring different ideas and creativity.

How can organizations leverage Earth Month to highlight their work?

Earth Month calls our attention to think about what we’re doing for the planet, of course. Yet for the organizations that are already engaged in this as their core, continuous work, every month is Earth Month and every day is Earth Day. So this is really a moment to showcase the year-round impact. Some ways to think about this are: how can you utilize your own channels, for example social media, to highlight climate and sustainability work—not just relevant to this month, but year-round—that you’re moving forward? Or what are some major storylines in climate and environment news right now that you can tie your ongoing work to?

If we’re zooming out to organizations for which their core work may not be environmental sustainability, yet they’ve identified this as part of their larger commitments, I would say: get clear about who you’re trying to reach and what your message is to them. What is the value that you’re bringing in the sustainability space, and how is that informed by the larger work that you’re advancing? So that may look like an ad campaign that shows your core offerings, but connects to Earth Month. Or maybe an op-ed that talks about the commitments that you’ve made to climate and sustainability work and how that is linked to your larger mission.

Can you share an example of work connected to the environment that you’ve been proud to support?

A highlight for me has been the opportunity to work with professors, scientists and researchers across a variety of stories and topics within environmental sustainability. It’s been inspiring to see their work up close and to see how they’re tackling challenges and offering innovative approaches to a range of issues that all come together for sustaining biodiversity and our planet. 

How does storytelling play an important role in building support for environment communications?

I believe storytelling should be at the heart of any communications strategy. Especially when we talk about climate and the environment, storytelling is how an audience can come to understand the gravity of the issue, and the impact that they as individuals have in ensuring our collective future.

Within this, there can be storytelling about important innovations, about research and groundbreaking work or about investments that tie to advancing sustainability, though the why for doing this work should be underscored. And connected to that is centering the communities that are most impacted: those who have profound stories about the challenges that they face directly from climate disasters or in dealing with environmental justice issues. So this can also be about pushing for equity and policy change, while grounding that advocacy in real examples and stories.

Tell me a life-changing moment that helped shape who you are today. 

One day, before Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration for his first term, I made the spontaneous decision to fly to Washington, D.C. I felt I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to witness history. I ended up standing in an overflow area with my friend. It was far away from the U.S. Capitol, but we were still surrounded by thousands. And there were TV monitors that were makeshift, put there for the day. I watched together with the crowd as our nation’s first Black president was inaugurated. And it’s an experience that continues to stand out to me when I think about championing visionary leaders and causes. Over the years, I noticed that beyond being the person in the crowd listening to the trailblazer, I was really passionate about working on leaders’ teams and working alongside those who are making a deep impact on our society. So it has been a guiding moment for me in terms of how I want to show up. 

Fast Facts 

Last TV show you binge-watched: Firefly Lane. 

Favorite sustainable brands or companies: This may be an obvious answer, but it’s worth mentioning Patagonia as the gold standard of sustainable brands. 

Restaurant you’d recommend to close friends: Cobi’s. It’s a delicious Southeast Asian restaurant in Santa Monica. Another is Osteria La Buca on Melrose. 

A concert that you’d love to experience: I’d love to experience a concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. 

Best album ever: My taste in music really ranges, but an album that I’ve found myself coming back to over the years is “Stadium Arcadium,” from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Your dream dinner guest: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was such an icon and a trailblazer for women. She was guided by the pursuit of justice, which was informed by a combination of her values as a Jewish woman and as an American, and I resonate with that very much.

A book that changed you: “Open” by Andre Agassi. I’m a big memoir person. It was very interesting to learn about his background and his complex experience with tennis, even as a stellar athlete. I think his story has a lot of universal themes—and it was just very real and raw. 

A movie you’d pay to see again and again: “Inglourious Basterds” or “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”
Advice you’d tell your younger self: That life is about the journey, not just the final destination. That there’s value in the moments leading up to reaching the final success that you envision. I’ve learned it’s important to stop and appreciate those moments as they happen in real time.