"All you need is love...love is all you need." -- The Beatles
The progressive and excellent professional communications organization out of the UK, Futerra, proposes that we share the love instead. According to their Branding Biodiversity paper, presenting the awe and fascination and yes, love, of nature is more effective at stirring positive action and inspiring people than any other methods, especially doom and gloom.
Futerra suggests the following tips to get this "love content" right:
Biodiversity is a global issue but local messages are far more likely to resonate with people. Local plants and animals provide a more familiar, relevant and visceral connection for your audience, and local biodiversity provides a platform from which to connect to global issues.
• Integrate pride in local places, plants and wildlife into your messages.
• Use pets as a starting point to remind people that they already care about nature.
• Remember that locals don’t look at their environment like tourists do, and the touristy depiction can actively turn them off. Learn why they love their natural surroundings and start there.
• Sell actions that relate to your audience’s lifestyle, and highlight the personal benefits of doing something for nature, like guerrilla gardening.
Most of your audience value nature as it relates to people. People are what they know and understand, so don’t be afraid to anthropomorphise the species you are communicating about. Make sure you don’t slip back into selling conservation for nature’s sake; acknowledging the feel-good factor is essential for inspiring action.
• Turn your studies into soap operas, and give individual species a lead role.
• Talk about the people behind conservation success stories, as well as the plants and animals. Use testimonies and case stories to reinforce your Love message.
• Talk in human timescales. If you’re communicating conservation plans, tell us what you’ll do in 5, not 25, years.
Conservation actions need great publicity. As well as picking the right actions for your audience, you need to make the actors and their successes visible. This will shift the focus of biodiversity action from avoiding Loss to celebrating Love, and it will help move all conservation actions into the mainstream.
Take a moment to read the entire Branding Biodiversity paper here.
image credits: dawnoftomorrow