The next couple of posts will be concerned with this question:
What type of green messaging captures the hearts and mind of our multi-varied audiences. In this post, I'll talk about social media, and being a confirmed Twitter user, I'm confining the discussion to the shorter message medium - using slogans, captions, headlines and tweets to draw attention to the larger messages we convey over social media.
Essentially it helps for the tweeter or copywriter to aim for a cross fertilisation of themes. In other words a tweet which states: recent cull of dolphins, whales, sharks has reached epic proportions is mono-thematic and less likely to draw the public's interest or attention. This is because it has narrower appeal. Whereas a multi-thematic approach is more likely to get noticed. An example is a recent tweet by Green Teacher: 'Who knew it was illegal to climb trees in San Francisco?' Well this one was favourited by me in Twitter, as it uses irony (... something physical and nature connected is illegal - huh?) and has two unlikely themes - tree climbing and - the political correctness of protecting children by banning the activity. Whereas a tweet which said: 'Climbing trees is great for kids because ....' probably wouldn't garner much interest.
I also like a recent tweet - 'Plants grow faster if you talk to them in a Geordie accent'. This one draws in two themes - talking to plants as a serious past-time (horticultural therapy in reverse!) and that the benefits derived (for the plant and the grower) are culturally sensitive. These 2 tweets are in my Favourites at https://twitter.com/nkuna13 So, it is environmentally friendly to talk to plants in Cymraig (welsh), I guess!?
The use of more than one theme broadens the chances of arousing the public's attention as one theme links in to another and shows that environmental themes are enmeshed in the widest possible sphere of social dialogue. Bringing in more risque or popular themes like breaking the law appeals to a younger people audience who spend so much time in social media, and love popular culture.
This reminds me of an article on Cracked.Com whose headline was -
The 6 Weirdest Ways Wild Animals Are Having to Adapt to Us
Rather than the headline saying 'us humans are harming animals - by doing x, y, z' this slogan uses wider appeal to draw attention to the ways humans are affecting their natural surrounds. The topic sounds slightly more neutral and makes it infinitely more readable. The headline has more popular appeal because young people love weird and quirky stuff. So let's keep our tweets, slogans and headlines as broad, quirky and as humourous as possible, and they just might get noticed.
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Contributors to Converse Conserve.Com
Nicolle K., Peter Nesbit, (cartoonist) Chris Palmer (film-maker), Jackie Eco (comedienne),
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