About Me

This blog is primarily geared toward staff at the zoos, aquariums, museums (ZAMs), and other conservation education organizations that are part of our growing global network. We aim to provide you with cutting edge, challenging, and creative information, ideas, and tools to become as effective as possible at communicating about and for conservation with your visitors and the public.

See our ongoing communications research, or join our growing network, at The Ocean Project's website.

February 16, 2012

Social media and social change

Recent events have once again reminded us of the power of social media for social change that the Arab Spring so dramatically demonstrated last year. Whether for fundraising or toppling despotic regimes, social media is revolutionizing the ways that we think about information sharing and collective action. 

What implications does this have for our efforts to communicate for conservation? Our research clearly shows is that an Internet presence is critical for communicating for conservation action. 

Preliminary results from our youth focus groups suggest that there are limits to reaching young people through social media, however. Social media is perfect for inspiring young people to take immediate action and organizing an event, e.g. “Click to donate”, “Send this letter to your senator”, “Come to our beach cleanup”, but less effective for education or information sharing, e.g. “How to manage invasive species in your backyard”, “Scientists look at how people may be influencing evolution in raccoons”.

How have you used social media in your efforts to communicate with your audience? What have you found to be successful?

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