6.8: Environmental Campaigns Using Social Media
Environmental and climate justice organizations make extensive use of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and many other social media platforms to communicate their ideas for sustainability and change to wide audiences. For instance, take a look at The Majestic Plastic Bag video from Heal the Bay (embedded below), which has nearly 3 million views, and the Shorty Social Good Awards, which feature several social media campaigns that successfully "promote, protect, and preserve our environment" (para. 1).
However, while environmental and climate justice organizations put funding into media production and social media initiatives to create change and spread awareness, local and state governments rarely do the same. How can you help your local or state government promote one of their environmental policies so that it gains momentum?
In this activity, you will serve as a digital media expert who is tasked with improving your local or state government's use of multimedia and social media for environmental policies.
Activity: Design an Environmental Awareness Campaign for Your Local or State Government
- Explore the "Best in Environment & Sustainability" category of the Shorty Awards and identify how the winners used social media to help their initiative go viral.
- What strategies and approaches did these organizations use to communicate their messages?
- What visuals were used and why? What language was used? Who was the audience?
- What did you find effective in educating you and others?
- What features did you find less effective in making a case for awareness or change?
- Next, review your local town and state government's environmental policies (e.g., plastic ban, more bicycle lanes, more pedestrian walkways) and identify one that you think needs more support from citizens.
- Conduct research to determine how your local/state government promotes that environmental policy via print media (e.g., TV, newspapers, magazines) and social media (e.g., YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok).
- Then, design a social media campaign for that environmental policy to share with your local/state government officials.
- The social media campaign should include at least 2 videos (e.g., YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok), 5 example posts, and 3 images (e.g., memes, graphics, infographics) designed by you.
- Here is a social media campaign example created by Justin Lo, Daniel Mulno, and David Warde and here is a Twitter campaign example by Sara Shea.
- Consider using the Made to Stick principles or TED Talk presentation techniques to increase the appeal of your social media campaign.
Connecting to the Building Democracy for All eBook
Building Democracy for All: What Single-Use Plastic Items Should Local Governments Ban to Help Save the Environment?
Connecting to the Standards
- Massachusetts Civics & Government Standards
- Contrast the responsibilities of government at the federal, state and local levels. (Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for History and Social Studies) [8.T6.7]
- ISTE Standards
- Digital Citizen
- 2c: Students demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the rights and obligations of using and sharing intellectual property.
- Knowledge Constructor
- 3a: Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
- 3b: Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources.
- 3d: Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
- Creative Communicator
- 6a: Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
- 6b: Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
- 6d: Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for the intended audiences.
- Digital Citizen
- DLCS Standards
- Ethics and Laws (CAS.b)
- Interpersonal and Societal Impact (CAS.c)
- Digital Tools (DTC.a)
- Collaboration and Communication (DTC.b)
- Research (DTC.c)
- English Language Arts > History/Social Studies Common Core Standards
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