J500 Media and the Environment


Obama says Oceans will disappear in 2011 by jenjenku
October 24, 2008, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Society + Media | Tags: , ,

True or False? FALSE thank goodness! But who can we believe when it comes to topics about energy and the environment, such as the future of our beautiful oceans? John McCain and Barack Obama have both laid out energy plans that overlap in places and blatantly differ in others. Information is clearly distorted by politicians’ agendas.  As communicators, we need to shape our messages to overcome hidden agendas and false understandings in order to be heard. 

The conversation has narrowed so much that the main concern is missing. According to George Lakoff’s interview on the Sierra Club Web site, Americans’ think of the environment as something separate. We need to think of it as wanting our communities and life on Earth to survive infinitely into the future. All talks should roll up into this central communication.

Why? Because the enviroment is an important piece of each of us that effects us all equally.  Energy and climate change have become a household concern; therefore it is our window of opportunity to fill in the blanks with solutions. We need to use terms like health and safety that resonate with everyone.   

Climate change is one of the most challenging conversations we face and actions to address it will involve everything from how we produce energy, drive cars, construct our communities, etc. Think about it! Excited about your new Ford Focus or hot new Mercedes-Benz E63. Simply something to spin around the neighborhood in, right? Wrong!  You need to think in terms of the central message about how every single action affects our life, health and safety on Earth now. Both cars are among the 10 worst nominees on the “greenest list“.  You want to talk about climate change John and Barack? The conversation starts now! 

Jennifer W.

 

 

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Jennifer,
I agree with you that the environment affects everyone. And, I think that climate change and environment have been in the media enough to become household words. But, do you really think they have been elevated to household concerns yet? If not, how can we get them to really become concerns?

Comment by susang09

Susan,
You bring up a great point and thanks so much for the comment. Perhaps we can re-phrase to say they have elevated to household names and have demanded household awareness. Perhaps for some segments they have elevated to household concerns. Overall you are right, we are not fully there yet. I’d assume that if we dive deep into a consumer analysis that particular segments are closer than others to classifying as household concerns. David Morrison, President of TwentySomethingInc., says young adults are thinking green “in the dual sense of the word: protecting the environment as well as their wallets”. According to Ad Age, at the most recent American Magazine Conference held at Google’s headquarters, sustainability took the conference’s main stage for the first time. These events support the notion that sustainability and the environment have become household names, however how do we elevate to household concerns? We need to establish needs for each particular segment and develop solutions. Therefore, tailing on what David Morrison said, when communicating to young adults about the environment we need to consider messages that layout the consequences of action or in-action. We also need to consider how the suggested plan of action impacts their wallets.

Jennifer W.

Comment by jenjenku




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