Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Best Practices in Environmental Communication: A Case Study of Louisiana's Coastal Crisis

Our environmental communication research funded by the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio is now published in Environmental Communication.
This mixed-method case study of environmental communication best practices in Louisiana, USA, identifies trends and approaches as informed by environmental psychology. The results provide key insights for environmental communicators, especially communicators in coastal regions. In-depth interviews with both environmental psychologists and environmental communicators showed that both groups emphasized knowing the audience, telling local stories, building relationships with target audiences and targeted messaging. Both psychologists and communicators also frequently mentioned general messaging concerns of source credibility, avoiding controversial terms and talking about issues, impacts and solutions to which the target audience can relate. A representative survey revealed that Louisiana residents are most interested in hearing about how environmental issues such as climate change, coastal land loss and flooding are affecting their own communities. This finding supports the idea that environmental communicators could do a better job tapping into strong place attachment and sense of community among coastal residents to promote action.

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