Positive Communication Toolkit
Author(s): Ralph Underhill
When it comes to the natural world, grim headlines abound. As we hear of forests burning and species going extinct, it can be hard to remain hopeful. However, amongst the stories of loss, there are also many inspiring stories of hope that are waiting to be shared, learned from and replicated.
Conservation Optimism is built on the belief that securing our planet’s future hinges on as many people around the world as possible all stepping up to take action for nature. We aim to foster this action, in large part by helping to share stories from across the conservation sector – both stories of hope, triumph, and success, and stories of loss, difficulty, and failure — in a way that inspires, entertains, motivates, and empowers.
We know that the way we frame issues is of critical importance to how they are received and acted upon by others.
Conservation Optimism is more than our online hub. It’s a spirit and an ethos that many organisations are embracing as we all move forward to build a more effective, more inclusive, and more active future for conservation. To this end, we are working to build robust reciprocal relationships with those institutions, collectively called the Conservation Network of Optimists Worldwide or ConservationNOW, that uphold our vision.
We are in active dialogue with our over 70 members and working to develop content to support them and the conservation sector as a whole in the areas of need that they help us to highlight. When 70% of them told us that they needed help with framing their communication messages, we got to work and reached out to framing expert Ralph Underhill from Framing Matters. We invited our ConservationNOW members to join us for a special one-day workshop with Ralph to provide us with an intro to framing and to allow us to discuss some common pitfalls to move away from the doom and gloom narrative.
This toolkit was produced using examples shared by our members during the workshop. It will encourage you to think about why you are communicating and what the values and beliefs underpinning your messages are. Finally, it will provide you with some communication traps and will dive into how to avoid them.
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