Conservation Messaging for Generation Z

As part of a grant from the National Geographic Society, four faculty members from FIU’s Department of Communication and Tropical Conservation Institute are developing strategic conservation communication campaigns and conducting research aimed at tailoring wildlife conservation messages to Generation Z.

Simply raising awareness about an environmental issue does not change behavior. It is necessary to craft messages that are relevant to audiences and rooted in communication and behavior change research. This project partners a conservation scientist (Cristina Gomes, PhD) with strategic communication students and faculty (Maria Elena Villar, PhD and Weirui Wang, PhD) to develop compelling content to support the conservation efforts of the Tropical Conservation Institute (TCI), targeting millennial and Gen Z multicultural audiences through digital media.

The TCI unites conservation leaders, students and researchers to conserve and recover critical species and biodiversity rich ecosystems. Students from the BOLD strategic communication agency (includes advertising, public relations, digital media and graphic design), will create communication strategies and content to educate the multicultural audiences about conservation of endangered species and habitats through social media and traditional media.

Together with faculty from the Audience Analysis Lab, students will compare the efficacy of different media and messaging strategies to increase conservation knowledge and behavior. The content generated through this project will support ongoing conservation efforts while engaging diverse students and audiences on issues of conservation, and will add to our knowledge of the comparative efficacy of different message strategies and media channels to influence different kinds of audiences to promote conservation-support behaviors.


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