The Manner of the Message
At their recent annual general meeting members of Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group were fascinated by a report from their vice-chair Neil Sefton on his attendance at a seminar organised by Transition Bro Gwaun and given George Marshall, Director of Projects at COIN (Climate Outreach and Information Network). COIN is a charity formed in 2004 directly to engage the public about climate change. COIN inspires lasting changes in attitudes and behaviour through the use of innovative learning methods and by assisting people to communicate their own messages to their peers.
Neil explained that there were five basic elements to be considered when spreading the climate change message – the audience, the message, the speaker, the medium and the action required.
Audiences will vary. It is vital that the speaker quickly assesses its character and gears the presentation accordingly. Indicators in making this assessment may be the most popular newspaper, the members' apparent values and a wide range of other interest and attainments.
The message must be given in the right language to engage the audience. Jargon is unhelpful. The nature of the subject must be brought close to people. General observations regarding the disasters facing the planet are also not helpful.
The approach must be positive – how responding to the challenges of climate change can lead to cleaner living and healthier air. Collective action should be encouraged – we are all in this together. And stress the benefits to our children and grandchildren if we take the right action now.
The identity of the speaker is very important – audiences will normally respond better to people they know and trust – a member of their own peer group.
The method of delivery of the message must also be considered. Not only newspapers and meetings but also members' own social networks should be used.
The action required must be possible with best results achieved by encouraging small achievable steps. These must be carefully explained and a group response should be encouraged. People are reluctant to take radical steps on their own.
Whatever message is being communicated, its effectiveness must be tested with honest feedback from the audience. This will enable the speaker to evaluate and refine their approach.
Neil was thanked by the Chair for his clear and thought provoking report. He had given the meeting much to think about.
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|27th May 2011||Electric Cars – The Road Ahead?: The talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles|
|13th May 2011||Are electric cars the way forward?: A talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles|
|22nd April 2011||Sustainability in Action: A visit to the Science & Technology Park (Technium) in Pembroke Dock|
|1st April 2011||A Revolution in Wind Energy?: A talk by Vaughan Griffiths from Quietrevolution, Pembroke Dock|
|25th February 2011||Preparing for Floods: A talk by Richard Wickes of the Environment Agency|
|14th January 2011||The Way Forward for Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy|
|12th November 2010||How Green is your Castle?: The National Trust & Global Warming|
|15th October 2010||Challenge of the Rising Sea: The effects on the Pembrokeshire coastline|
|10th August 2010||The beautiful Welsh coastline: Response to possible rising sea levels|
|18th June 2010||Visit to Costain at Canaston Bridge: Not Costing the Earth|
|16th April 2010||Feed in Tariffs: Power to the People|
|12th March 2010||Heat Pumps & Photo Voltaic Panels: Prepare for the Goodlife|
|12th February 2010||Parliamentary Candiates at Green Question Time in Saundersfoot|
|15th January 2010||Weather & Climate: A Question of Energy|
|4th December 2009||Sustainable Community Ventures: Regeneration in Pembrokeshire|
|13th November 2009||Community Initiatives: Sustainable Wales leads by example|
|16th October 2009||Climate Change Challenge for Candidates & Micro-generation with wind turbines|
|2nd October 2009||A Visit to Castle Pill Wind Farm: Quiet blows the wind|
|11th September 2009||Renewable Sustainable Energy: An Energy Survey for South East Pembrokeshire|
|10th July 2009||A talk by Lorraine Dallmeier of Infinergy: Wind Power - Pembrokeshire's Potential|
|12th June 2009||St. Oswald's, Jeffreyston - Pembrokeshire's Beacon of Sustainability|
|24th April 2009||Solar Panels: Three Cheers for Sunny Pembrokeshire|
|13th March 2009||Ashton Hayes Community Energy Reduction & Hot Water From the Sun|
|13th February 2009||Could Pembrokeshire go carbon neutral?|
|14th November 2008||Environment Wales to provide 'Start-Up' Funding for PSEEG|
|17th October 2008||PSEEG to become a Registered Charity|