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RETHINK the ‘place/distribution ’ of climate change action by making the communication outreach to fit the age of social computing. Current Communication & Outreach Strategy. Communication & Outreach Strategy in the Age of Social Computing. Info. Channels. T. actic. s. T.

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RETHINK the‘place/distribution’ of climate change action by

making the communication outreach to fit the age of social computing

Current Communication & Outreach Strategy

Communication & Outreach Strategy

in the Age of Social Computing

Info. Channels







• TV/cable

• Coupons

• Personalization

• Radio

• Customer promos

Info. Channels

• Search

• Magazine


rade promos

• Site merchandising


eb sit


• Newspaper

• Sales force

• Customer database

• Online ads

• Outdoor


eb analytic


• Email


• Direct mail

• Brand monitoring

• Blogs

• Reach

• Content syndication

• Interactive TV

• Frequency

• Podcasting


• Mobile ads

• Conversion rates

SOURCE:Forrester Research (2006)


“I trust” ___

Recommendations from friends/family

Consumer opinions posted online

Requested email updates

Ads in newspapers

Ads on TV

Ads on radio

Ads in magazines

Branded Web sites

Search engine ads

Web banner ads

Ads on mobile phones







SOURCE: Forrester Research (2006)

Key Communication & Social Computing Drivers

Consumers’ trust in institutions is falling

Only 42% of consumers say they even “somewhat” trust newspapers.

Consumers are less brand loyal

52% of consumers say brand trumps price, down from 59% in 2000.

Consumer-to-consumer activities are taking off

C2C eCommerce, messaging, blogs, camera phones, video phones

Consumers are customizing products and services

10%-40% of customers develop or modify products.

SOURCE: Forrester Research (2006)







Change &


REFRAME the ‘Promotion’ of climate change action by thinking more

strategically about the message and the intended target audience

  • For communication to be effective, i.e., to facilitate a desired social change, it must accomplish two things:
  • sufficiently elevate and maintain themotivation
  • to change a practice or policy
  • &
  • (2)contribute to lowering barriers and resistance
  • to doing so

SOURCE: Moser (2006)


What makes climate communication difficult and challenging?

Scientific uncertainties


Media reporting ‘rules’

Public’s values, beliefs, attitudes and approach to risk

SOURCE: Plummer et al (2005)

Steps to improve climate communication and public engagement


  • Make global warming “local”, salient
  • NO one meta-narrative that will fit all audience types; match message

content, framing, and audience values

  • Lead with certainty, but never misrepresent uncertainty!
  • Go beyond science/impacts and focus on solutions


  • Choose audiences carefully, strategically, and tailor communication


  • Move from one-way information delivery to engaging dialogue
  • Learn about mental models; levels of understanding; interests, values


  • Reach out and focus on to those NOT yet engaged
  • Begin visioning a future worth fighting for and identify measures of

progress/’success’ SOURCE: Moser (2006)

REDEFINE the ‘Product’ of climate change

action by embedding climate change in the

context of a new social movement and in the

language of social equity/justice: learning

from the civil rights movement in the

1950s/60s and anti-apartheid struggle of the


Political opportunities: Brown v. Board of

Education; the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Resource mobilization: Student Non-Violent

Coordinating Committee

Framing: Dr. Martin Luther King’s‘I Have a

Dream!’ speech

SOURCE: adapted from Jon Isham (2006)

Relevant news headlines: “Could the next grassroots revolution in America

be over climate change?” (The Economist, 3/18/04) and “How do we build

a ‘geo-green’ movement?”(Thomas Friedman, NY Times, 3/27/05)

Connect climate change action with youth/students and social activism


“When civil rights organizers went through the Deep South in register black

voters in the early 1960’s, they didn’t ask for donations to send to national

headquarters. They talked, listened, pulled together meetings and formulated

plans for community action. In a society that needs active citizens, every

person that national environmental groups ask for money is one more person

who hasn’t been asked to become active in a more meaningful way. Instead,

they receive the contradictory message that the environment is in great

danger, and the best way to avert this catastrophe is to write a $15 check and

maybe change some light bulbs” (Daily Grist, 6/16/06)


Evangelical Climate Initiative (, launched in February 2006 by 86 evangelical Christian leaders since "millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors."

Broaden the political ‘tent’/governance of climate change action

Apollo Alliance (2002)

Mayors Climate Protection Regional climate

Agreement(2005)change initiative (2004)

Link conceptually environmental movement and social justice concerns

Despite its salience today, environmental policy work and civil rights/

social justice advocacy have not been traditional allies in the broader

progressive social movement in the U.S.

There are two important historical & policy reasons for this disconnect:

Environmental movement’s narrow conception of the ‘environment’ has isolated it from

vital issues of everyday life such as workplace safety, healthy communities, and food

security, that are often viewed separately as industrial, community, or agricultural


Source: Robert Gottlieb (2001) Environmentalism Unbound: Exploring New Pathways for Change

Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

“Traditional environmental arguments have commonly constructed ‘society and ‘nature’ and

urban versus wild/natural as hostile dichotomies. The merging of social justice and

environmental interests therefore assumes that people are an integral part of what should be

understood as the environment”.

Source: Giovanna Di Chiro (1995) “Nature as Community: The Convergence of Environment

and Social Justice”, William Cronon (ed.), Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place

in Nature, p. 301

‘Climate justice’ (as defined by Environmental Justice and Climate Change

Initiative, a California-based grassroots group) is a movement from the

grassroots to realize solutions to our climate and energy problems that ensure

the right of all people to live, work,play, and pray in safe, healthy, and clean

environments. Global warming is fundamentally an issue of human rights and

environmental justice that connects the local to the global.


Question#1: Assuming there is some form of a climate change-focused social movement in existence, where would you say it currently lies? In UK? EU? US? Globally?

Stage 1: Normal times

Stage 2: Prove the failure of official institutions

Stage 3: Ripening conditions

Stage 4: Take off

Stage 5: Perception of failure

Stage 6: Majority public opinion

Stage 7: Success

Stage 8: Continuing the struggle

SOURCE: Moyer Doing Democracy: MAP Model for Organizing

Social Movements (2001)

Question#2: How or can society

generally and business specifically

cope with and respond to non-

linear abrupt environmental


We tend to see environmental and

other important societal concerns in

a ‘linear’ fashion, that is problem is

seen as a straight-line fashion with

incremental, predictable changes

But, many if not virtually all

ecosystem concerns are ‘non-linear’,

much like what happened to the

Atlantic cod stocks off the east coast

of Newfoundland (see right) in

1992 when the sudden collapse

forced the (permanent) closure?