A community project needs community support to succeed, so getting the green message across is always going to be important. Fortunately, these days, everyone’s aware of the issues – but how do you turn awareness into action? The answer may be easier than you might think.
Target Your Message
It’s no good trying to explain every last detail of the whole eco friendly, melting ice-caps, global warming, climate change and carbon footprint issue all in one go, to anyone who’ll listen – however commendable your intentions – so try to focus on few key things.
It’s a good idea to ask two key questions at the outset – what is the message and who is it aimed at? Making these decisions allows you to concentrate on targeting your audience and tailoring your delivery to suit.
Much of the detail depends on the project you’re running, but there are two approaches in general which tend to prove fairly effective. The first involves pushing a straight-forward green message, concentrating on the environmental angle and the benefits that your project will bring.
This kind of campaign tends to work particularly well with people who have already signed up to the whole “green” and eco friendly idea – and, for obvious reasons, it’s especially effective when you’re hoping to recruit young people or members of nature or wildlife groups.
The second approach appeals to the people who may have underlying green sympathies, but need a little convincing on the practical side. For this kind of audience, try to make things as relevant as you can and give them some examples that they can really latch on to.
Gather a few useful statistics to sprinkle into your message – around a quarter of the heat lost from an un-insulated house escapes through its roof; turning the thermostat down by one degree C can reduce heating bills by 10 per cent; the average UK household has 12 gadgets on standby. If you can master the art of making things relevant and memorable, you should certainly get the message across.
Pick Your Medium
The internet can be an excellent way to let everyone know what you’re trying to do and is a very cheap way to reach a large number of people. Every project should have a well designed, informative and user friendly website, while the more techno-aware project organisers might like to consider the benefits of blogs or podcasts.
However, it’s important not to just leave it at that; even in our increasingly “online” world, there can still be parts of the community without internet access – so be prepared to make alternative arrangements, no matter how good your site is.
Notice boards are an obvious other way of getting your eco friendly message out to a wider audience and with modern computers and software, producing eye-catching and interesting posters shouldn’t eat too heavily into the project’s budget. This sort of approach also lends itself to being backed up with suitable flyers and leaflets to expand the green message and make more information available.
Putting out a newsletter is another good method of making as many people as possible aware of how the project is progressing, but producing one can be an awful lot of work for any one person. The best way round this is to try to have a number of contributors, each responsible for different aspects – sharing the load and covering a wider set of topics.
There are lots of ways to go about publishing your project newsletter, ranging from having it traditionally printed through to distributing it by email to willing subscribers.
Every project needs to make its message clear, whether in the early stages to encourage support, or later on the report its successes. Getting the green message across is a vital part of any scheme and is one of the most important ways to make the whole community feel involved with what’s going on. It’s well worth taking the time to plan your campaign and make sure you get it right.