Category Archives: Climate Change Communication

Community Engagement and Environmental Issues

Word cloud of hands shaking to establish cooperation.

Getting Off on the Right Foot 

A key component of science communication is in communicating scientific issues to the community-at-large, many of whom do not have a scientific background. This communication can be the first step (of many) in engaging with a community concerning environmental issues. Perhaps the next step you hope to develop is building a mini-public for a deliberative democratic community discussion or workshopping of a potential restoration or pro-environment initiative. Think of the old adage, “there’s never another chance to make a first impression.” On your first encounter, whatever the circumstance (in-person, print, or online) you want to leave your best impression. This is a firm, assuring handshake (back when we did that sort of thing) with accompanying essential eye contact. It establishes that you see and hear the person you are interacting with and that you value their perspective. Successful initial engagement with a community is essential to begin paving the way for future collaboration. Some research shows that psychological priming can go a long way in establishing a meaningful and lasting rapport. 

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