Here is an event that affects everyone that you can join in with to help with the environment.
by Sara Vogt
With a big international summit in 2015 to agree a global cut in emissions, the world is talking about climate change again. Scientists are clear, climate change is happening, it is one of the most serious threats facing the UK and we need to take action now.
PR Week has started dedicating a page each month to climate change communications. Businesses are coalescing in groups such as The Climate Group and Corporate Leaders’ Group; and, NGOs have recently launched a For The Love Of campaign, to call for climate action for the sake of all the things that matter most.
At DECC, we’re piloting campaign activity encouraging people to #BackClimateAction, starting with a Tweetathon on 25th November - timed to generate discussion on climate change the week before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima.
Our campaign focuses on the relevance of climate change to our lives by linking it to issues people care about most, such as food and health. This addresses the fact that while two-thirds of the public are already ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ concerned about climate change, they don’t always make the connection between the issue and their own lives.
Why a Tweetathon? The format enables us to show collective action on an issue where no one group (whether government, business or communities) or country can solve it by acting alone. We’re delivering the Tweetathon with a broad mix of partners across the public and private sector, and international organisations, including Sky TV, Unilever, Microsoft, the British Medical Association (BMA), former UK Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti and the Indian IPL cricket team Royal Challengers Bangalore. Within government, DECC, FCO, DH, BIS, EA, Met Office and the Scottish Government are among those already involved.
Anyone can get involved by tweeting questions as well and finding out what leaders in the field are thinking and doing on climate change. The tweetathon will be broken down into hourly slots, one after another, and each themed around a different subject such as health, cities and sport. Each session will be led by a different expert who will respond to your questions about how climate change will impact the featured subject matter or the action that can be taken.
We’ve used a ten-day countdown with a focus each day on a different theme (food, health etc) which has enabled supportive partners from each sector to start to amplify campaign messages. Tweets with images are 94% more likely to be retweeted so we’ve created a series of vines. Each vine is split in two with an an image and hashtag, which we supplement with a factoid. We name check relevant partners in our tweets on specific themes, which they are then retweeting to state support, while adding additional factoids of their own.
Half way through our countdown to the big day and, in terms of outputs, according to Tweetreach #BackClimateAction has reached 2.9m accounts and 9.6m impressions. With support from BIS, the event will be closely monitored and evaluated by Ipsos Mori to track changes in the online conversation around climate change. This insight will then be used to help shape future climate change campaign activity.
Sara Vogt is Head of Campaigns at the UK Government Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC.)