How to use the summer to promote your environmental agenda

Summer, just in case you’re a grown up and forgot… is a lot of fun.

It’s about enjoyment. It’s about finding ways to keep your kids engaged without wanting to lock them in their rooms. It’s about adventure and making memories. It’s about squeezing extra hours out of the longer days.


Or, at least that’s what summer is supposed to be about.

For a lot of us though, summer leaves us scatterbrained. On top of everything else, now I have to have “fun” too?

Like I have time for that.

So, when a serious, totally-worthy-of-my-time email comes through my inbox, what do I usually do? As much as I’d like to read it, there’s very little room left.

So I delete it.

For environmental communications managers, this leaves you in a tough position.

Summer is when a lot of really great things happen, there are important events and announcements to convey, new positions to define and issues to get worked up about.

So, what can you do?

You can make it as easy on us as you possibly can.

Our brains are scattered. Sure, summer’s fun (didn’t I just say that?) but those long days are used up and we’re stretched pretty thin.

Rule #1 in making your summer communications successful

Don’t make things complicated for the rest of us.

Help us out a little by using what’s right in front of us.

Lucky for you, I’ve got some ideas to make things easier for you, so you can make things easier for me. Or, something like that…

Take us to the movies

A lot of great movies come out in the summer, and many of them revolve around themes that can easily be related to an environmental cause.

Just off the top of my head, both Finding Dory and Independence Day: Resurgence would be easy peasy to link to a lot of different environmental themes.

Bottom line… connect your mission with something fun going on in our lives this summer. Summer is fun, remember?!

Take advantage of other people’s anniversaries

If you’re into the environment at all, or even just read the news, you know this summer marks 100 years for the Park Service.

How does that relate to your work? It’s an important milestone for environmental work in America, and one worth noting. There are a thousand and one ways the Park Service touches environmental work all over the world. Use this, and relate it back to your own work.

Bottom line, don’t be territorial or envious about other organizations successes. Build on them. We’re all in this together.

Help parents out with the endless summer ahead

School’s out. Kids are bouncing off the walls. Do you have something (anything!?) we parents can learn from your organization?

Can we print out a guide to bird watching? Can we let our kids get dirty and learn something about soil? Can we go join in with something important you’re doing? Do you have a volunteer program we can all come to, or better yet, I can drop my kids off at??

The takeaway from this one benefits all of us. Get us involved!

Always connect your mission to current events

Sometimes, these can be a bit of a downer on that F-U-N we’re all supposed to be having.

But current events are important for you to touch on if they have something to do with your organization. Union Pacific’s oil train derailment? The horrific shooting in Orlando? Britain’s exit from the EU?

If you can connect your work to the news and pull it off without seeming too self-involved, you’re likely to succeed at keeping us in the forefront of your mind.

By the end of the summer…

I want to remember you and the great work you did.

And if you can gain my support this summer, but without making me feel like I had to work to keep up this relationship, all the better.

Keep your communications brief, positive, and easy to understand.

I have enough on my plate without trying to decipher your email and what you want from me.

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