Evolution of environmental news and the 'coconut wireless' : a study of the communication methods and strategies of environmental nonprofits on Kau'i
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI--COLUMBIA AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Catastrophic environmental news bombards us on a regular basis, yet, issues from human impact persist. Despite the number of environmental nonprofits working toward mitigating damage to the planet, problems prevail. Environmental degradation is such a complex and enormous issue; however, despite the limited resources of a few environmental nonprofits on Kaua'i, they have managed to be successful at making a local impact. Campaigns, such as banning plastic bags and halting the operations of an interisland ferry, are two examples of the many ways that Kaua'i environmental nonprofits have made a difference. And the groups have done so by largely relying on traditional communication methods and strategies, including word-of-mouth (also known as the "coconut wireless" in Hawaii), local newspaper articles and flyers pinned to bulletin boards. ... More information does not indicate a correlation to more action. It might help people recognize the problem but an audience needs concrete, easy ways to take action. Kaua'I's nonprofits struggle financially, but they've all found effective ways to deliver their messages and initiate action from the local community. The study concludes that environmental nonprofits would benefit from setting strategic social media communication goals and focusing less on spreading as much information as possible through these outlets and more on building a community and a local network though campaigns that correlate to direct action. Social media is helpful in raising awareness about the environmental nonprofits' missions but building community and making things personally beneficial to people contributes the most to direct action among citizens, especially when it's via the good, "'ole fashioned "coconut wireless."
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