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Welcome to The Conservation Report! 

TiME pleased to report that we have crossed the 1,000 memberships line! 

As a crowdsourcing initiative, TiME relies on the ongoing financial support of its membership and those members of the global community who care about the future of the planet. If you have not made your 2016 donation yet to TiME - please donate now! As promised, 100 percent of funds donated online will be directed towards purchasing critical habitats in biodiversity hotspots. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates on our work and other environmental topics.


In this newsletter, you can read about the business side of environmental activism: social media and marketing, among other environmental news.

Newsletter Contributors: Noa Jett and Brett Kleiman
TiME Editor: Liat Radcliffe Ross
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Networking the traditional way. Highly social Arabian babblers (Turdoides squamiceps) line up for a morning dance in the Hatzeva field station. 

Social Media and the Environment: Together to Make an Impact

 

Earlier this year, The Huffington Post discussed five ways social media has been used to fight climate change:

1. Organizations can use social media to activate the “crowd” to support and spread environmental messages. However, this “clicktivism” does not necessarily translate into long-term and/or deep involvement in the cause.

2. Individuals can become independent activists by using social media to share their personal stories and/or provide alternative sources of information, as did the residents of the Gulf Coast during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  


3. Environmental organizations are increasingly using social media to publicize their campaigns. Greenpeace, for instance, made a YouTube video showing a Lego-built model of the Arctic Circle being slowly submerged in black liquid to successfully convince Lego to end its contract with Shell Oil.

4. Hardware sensors and personal wearables are becoming more available and popular, allowing individuals and private organizations to independently monitor environmental concerns such as air and water quality. These wearables and related apps are promising but questions about verification, calibration and access to tools make their impact on environmental regulation and enforcement still uncertain.

5. Geolocation and hashtags on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter have allowed individuals to share stories about their local environments and to connect them to larger environmental topics such as #californiadrought or #droughtshaming.

 

A loomery of Common murre (Uria aalge) off the shore of Oregon State.

Feature on Publicity and the Environment with Barbara Kohn, PR consultant for TiME  

How did you become involved in environmental work?

 

I spent most of my career in public relations. I actually started out with the US Department of Agriculture as an information specialist but later transitioned to become a public relations agency professional when Silicon Valley exploded in 1983. I focused mainly on writing and social media; since then, I have branched out to blogs. When it comes to the environment, my passion is animals and animal rescue. However, the San Francisco Jewish Federation is sponsoring TiME as one of its causes, so I thought I could offer my help!

 

How can TiME improve its public profile?

 

In my opinion, the world is communications, and it is guarded by gatekeepers. In order to reach your target audience, you need to grab the interest and enthusiasm of the news media. You need to have a strategy. You need to target the right media outlets. Good PR is cheap—you just have to get an editor to agree to include an article about your cause. Especially in the digital age, you don’t have to wait for anyone else to reach the people you want to reach. Get people to know you and believe in you. Manage communications and maintain contact to hold their interest.

 

How do you feel about social media as a marketing tool?

 

Social media is a two-way street. If you’re not careful, you can get trashed. It’s important to manage your presence on social media to get what you want from it. Social media is an ongoing conversation. You must listen, respond and take note. At the same time, however, you have to continue to do conventional public relations and marketing. There is no one correct method — it is important to maintain a diverse stream of tactics.

 

Why is the environment not more of a popular cause in your opinion?

 

Well, to me, I think it has a lot to do about accessibility. Animals like cats and dogs are part of people’s daily lives, and are animate, sentient creatures. It’s not so much of a stretch to then relate to wild animals. Additionally, there’s an enormous social-media presence surrounding animals. When it comes to the environment, unless they’re living in a biodiverse area, it’s less a conscious part of their everyday life.

 

In that case, how can we make the environment more relatable?

 

First of all, I think it’s important to say that you don’t have to reach out to everyone. I use the analogy of a party with one-hundred people. Thirty-three people there are passionate about your cause—keep them engaged. Thirty-three people could care less about your cause and will continue  not to care even if you put in tremendous effort—don’t worry about them. The target people are the others who aren’t engaged but need to learn—this is where you need to focus.

 

Secondly, you need to reach people on an emotional level. You have to be able to understand your audience and their passions. I’ve spent much of my career devoting time to learning about what the target audience wants and needs. You need to find out what people care about and engage them. Distinguish yourself amongst other organizations. Get a passionate core of supporters to share your message.

 

 


 

Recommended Reading
Every month, we will include a list of some of our favourite articles in the area of conservation and biodiversity preservation.

 

People Still Don't Get the Link between Meat Consumption and Climate Change


Bat-Sound Library Tracks Biodiversity

 

LA, a Surprise Nature Hotspot, Is Home to One of the Biggest Biodiversity Studies


Research Sheds Light on Delicate Forest Biodiversity

 

Fossil Fuels Could Be Phased Out Worldwide in a Decade, Says New Study

 

 

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