Communication channels

Websites and Social Media

The quickest and easiest way of reaching a high proportion of your target audience will be through social media. Ensure that you have a presence on Facebook and Twitter for all your biodiversity activities so that you can connect and share information with people and groups that you want to engage with. You may also want to set up a YouTube channel and post videos as well as exploring other channels such as Pinterest, for visual communication and Google Plus. Keep up the regular posts and aim to build a strong virtual community.

Make sure that you have an interactive website for biodiversity as a primary engagement tool. Link this to all your social media platforms and provide opportunities for comments and ways of getting involved. Make sure that the site is regularly updated and active. A Twitter feed is a good way of doing this quickly and easily. Also make sure that you link key information to your intranet.

On-site interpretation

Providing information and visual interpretation in the areas that are being managed for biodiversity is important to tell people about what you are doing, why it matters and how they can get involved. On-site information boards are the traditional approach. You could also link your biodiversity areas by producing a waymarked biodiversity trail, perhaps even with an audio tour. Also consider how you can use art around your campus to promote biodiversity.

Ensure that you carefully plan how and what you plan to present so that it is appropriate to your audience, interactive, accessible and appropriately placed. Scottish Natural Heritage have produced a useful online guide that will help you.

Internal communication and publications

Identify how you can raise awareness and build your biodiversity community through internal communication channels and publications. These may include institution wide and departmental social media and websites, e-news, student and staff newspapers or magazines and perhaps the institution prospective. Include information on how you have brought about benefits to the institution in terms of environmental improvement and reputation and how this is good for students, staff, the local environment and community.

Local and national media

Biodiversity initiatives can provide a good source of wider positive publicity. Work with your institution’s press officers to make good contacts within local and national press, radio and television. Think carefully about how to capture interest.

Campus events

Think about how you can link biodiversity to existing events in your institution and find creative ways of getting a variety of groups involved. Perhaps you could organise a health walk or maybe even a concert for music students or short drama production at one of your biodiversity sites.

Get people involved

If you are planning a practical project, get people to get involved as much as possible. Think about the following to help get people active

Remember to consider any health and safety issues and advise people to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. You will also need to organise any tools and equipment that you may need.