The Right Message from the Right Messenger

The National Network for Ocean & Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI) has some exciting news for climate change communicators! Those of you who have received training in Strategic Framing® techniques through the network may recall collecting pre- and post- training surveys from your audiences regarding the success of your climate change communications with the public. These surveys allowed NNOCCI and evaluation partners at Penn State and New Knowledge to do a large-scale study that has recently been published in the prestigious, widely circulated Science Communication journal.

NNOCCI’s goal is to increase public engagement with climate change, leveraging the reach of informal science learning institutions to impact discourse on a national scale. The study used 7,200+ complete surveys from 1,100+ presentations at 117 organizations over 4 years, through which visitors showed significant increases in understanding of climate change, hope about their ability to participate with others to address climate change, and intentions to engage in community-level action.

Here are a few of the key findings:

  • Both the increased quantity (increased exposure to info) and quality (increased use of Strategic Framing® techniques) of climate change messaging explain the impacts of the NNOCCI training on visitors.
  • After hearing presentations, visitors intended to participate in community action, regardless of political identity. There were some small differences in increases of other outcomes, with liberals learning more and having more hope after presentations than conservatives.
  • The increases of hope and intentions for community actions were equal across education levels. However, visitors with a lower level of education learned slightly less about climate change than those with a higher level of education.

Ultimately, the study concludes that NNOCCI training was successful in promoting more effective climate communication among climate interpreters and, as a result, increased visitor engagement. Regardless of political ideology and education, evaluators saw significant increases in understanding, hope and intentions to act – meaning climate change interpreters have been effective at reaching their broad public audience. Congratulations to all involved, and keep up the good work!

Check out the full article as published in Science Communication.

Learn about ways to connect with the National Network for Ocean & Climate Change Interpretation.

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