Building social media communities to engage the Public
Federal agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had a major scientific climate report release coming up. They were making plans to announce to the science community and needed new ideas to expose the report to the public.
NOAA cared deeply about the integrity of science. We made a compelling case that social media would be a critical channel to reach the public and that the content communicated would be fact-based science, not opinion. It was an opportunity to make science relevant to the public for the long term. To engage the public, social media was key.
For three months, we worked directly with several federal agencies, including the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Global Change Research Program, to plan and execute an integrated PR and social media strategy that ran broad and deep while working within stringent White House requirements. Melinda developed NOAA's first social media and content strategy and opened their first social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook in support of the report.
During the announcement week, Melinda tweeted live coverage from the White House press briefing, Senate meeting and Capitol Hill reception and posted over 400 tweets and Twitpics to the @ClimateChangeUS account. In the first three days of the event, over 1,000 new followers, reporters and bloggers joined the community which represented a reach of over 2.7 million people.
The report release culminated in a major White House event which was covered by hundreds of reporters across all media. Resulting coverage included dozens of print outlets, wire services, major network affiliates, national live and syndicated radio shows, science and technology blogs and Twitter feeds, reaching an audience extending into the tens of millions.
Today, the content strategy remains steadfast – share fact-based science about climate change that is interesting and relevant to the public. The Twitter community has grown to over 10.1K followers and the Facebook community is now over 7.5K members.
Read more about this campaign in a blog post by Beth Kanter, formerly a Visiting Scholar for Social Media and Nonprofits for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
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White House press briefing where the Climate Change Report findings were shared.
NOAA's first Twitter account above and Facebook community below; both dedicated to sharing scientific fact-based information about climate change.