Matching the Bravery of Environmental Advocates with Brave Communications
In the last few months, environmental advocates have seen an influx of young voices, a new wave of progressive leaders, and a new focus on fresh, system-changing solutions. How are communicators keeping up with this new energy and supporting environmental advocates for the long haul?
This is what brave, climate-saving communications looks like:
1. Communications rooted in equity and justice.
This is not something brave — it’s just what is right. Just as progressive climate policy must be rooted in equity and social justice, so must our communications. The fight to save our environment expands beyond breathing healthy air and maintaining livable climates. It is a movement that seeks to build power in historically-oppressed communities to create a more socially and economically just society. Using communications to build power means changing who gets to be the messenger and who decides the message.
RALLY is proud to work with frontline leaders and environmental justice communities across the West Coast to amplify their message and train them to communicate and advocate for community-driven solutions.
2. Coalition-wranglers and team players.
It’s easy to talk in silos and claim lanes — it takes effort to communicate with intersectionality. The environmental advocacy space lives and dies by the strength of our coalitions. Coalitions allow this movement to build power through intersectionality — but it doesn’t always benefit a concise message and communications strategy.
RALLY’s experience working in and winning with diverse environmental coalitions like STAND-L.A. and the CA100.org coalitions have made us practiced team players. We have built and exercised our coalition muscle: we listen, incorporate different perspectives of our partners and facilitate collaboration to craft sharp messaging and a clear strategy that moves all stakeholders toward the group’s collective goals.
3. Innovative ways to find, reach and engage new audiences.
Young people are the most concerned demographic about climate change–and the ones most likely to do something about it, and in many cases, lead the way. To reach young, motivated audiences, and practically anyone who uses a smartphone, digital organizing is vital to the future of this movement. Communicators have to be nimble: unafraid to try new tools to reach their audience where they are.
RALLY’s digital team equips our clients with digital tools and strategies to amplify their message and engage audiences.
4. Design that turns heads.
We are starting to see the effects of climate change every day — and our communications must reflect that. Environmental issues from clean water to fossil-fueled wildfires are visceral and visual. Stock photos of melting glaciers and polar bears — while incredible–don’t cut it when you are trying to move the masses. Our visuals have to toe the line of relating to our lived experience, while also compelling enough to stir emotion and drive action.
RALLY’s design team brought climate issues to life for commuters and tech companies in the Bay Area with simple billboards showing flood risks along their daily commutes.
5. Messaging with an edge.
For years, the environmental community was weighed down by deniers, messaging that was data-laden and wonk-heavy. To keep moving forward and cut past deniers and delayers, we have to be communicating messages that speak to lived experiences and show what is at stake in relatable, humanistic ways.
RALLY knows how to push the envelope in a communications space that can too easily become staid, slow or predictable. We take complex, data-heavy issues and distill them into powerful and persuasive narratives and messaging. This is the difference between talking about the benefits of zero-emissions energy and transportation and declaring that every Californian has a “Right to Zero” and clean air. We can communicate with insiders and broader audiences, from regulatory issues to cultural influence.
We are inspired by the energy around environmental advocacy, and RALLY is keeping pace. At a time when environmental advocates are risking arrest, taking over legislators’ offices and risking their education to protect our futures, delivering on communications just as brave and powerful is more important than ever.