Creating conversations with your community
This page allows you to see the key factors behind ensuring effective communication with your community to engage them in effective action.
When we are talking to other people about climate change, we need to be conscious of how we approach this. In effect, on many occasions, you are trying to get someone to buy into the ideas, and you should be aware of two underlying principles of effective selling. You will notice them if you deal with a good salesperson.
The first is that people buy benefits and not features. The fact that the car has a superior bit of kit in the engine which means that it reduces the rate at which petrol is consumed is a feature. But the direct benefit to the consumer is the fact that it will cost less to run the car. In a similar way, the fact that we might change to a plant-based diet and thus reduce our carbon footprint needs to be translated into the fact that it will be cheaper to eat a plant-based diet. We need to understand “what is in it for them” when we are talking about the need to adopt a different lifestyle.
The second part is that we should listen to the issues which are really important to our audience. We were born with two ears and one mouth, and we should interact with our audience in the same proportion. Ask questions first, and provide answers much later.
This video is a really useful review of this point.
Britain Talks Climate – Outreach
The Outreach organisation exists to engage communities in taking action on climate change. Over the years, and especially since 2015 when they refreshed their name to Climate Outreach, they’ve expanded into an organisation that plays an integral role in helping people of all ages, faiths, nationalities and sides of the political spectrum to understand climate change in ways that are relevant for them.
Here is a great video from them:
You can find out more about how to address your messages to the different segments of the community – which we describe in some of our courses – in the following link
Outreach has also done research on Rural communities to identify what works when talking locally. They compare the “urban” message” with the “rural message” which builds on the Outreach work referenced above. Take a look at the report below: