Six More Cool Climate Communication Tipsby Don Knapp
Ahead of Earth Day, you can’t get enough tips on making your event a success, right? We’re hooking you up with five more basics from ICLEI’s Outreach and Communications Guide:
- Back up your arguments. Use scientific data and cite your sources. Use credible sources.
- Pictures are worth a thousand words. For example, photos that show glaciers 60 years ago compared to their retreating state today are iconic. However, local images are the most powerful – familiar landscapes under threat, people taking action in their local community are all powerful images that will more likely resonate with your audience.
- Make comparisons. Use analogies, such as “Thousands of the world's top scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are causing the climate to change - a level of agreement akin to the consensus that smoking causes lung cancer.” Use terms and scenarios that people recognize and understand.
- Use the bottom line. There is lots of green to be made by going green. Within 10 years, solar power is slated to generate $69 billion a year. Wind is already a multi-billion dollar global industry. Sales of hybrid cars are skyrocketing. From Wall Street to Main Street, the clean energy economy has captured the imaginations and investment dollars of leading American businesses. The Industrial Revolution got us to today and the Climate Revolution will get us to tomorrow.
- Be reasonable. Avoid rhetorical or shrill language to better engage people rather than drive them away. The topic of global warming can be scary and the use of the scare tactic will often turn people off – or worse, make them apathetic.
- Give and take feedback. Thank participants and ask for their feedback on your messaging. There’s always next year—or next month—to fine tune your pitch.