A4: Understanding audiences: communicating climate change adaptation

This post is part of our live blog series from the Resilient Cities 2015 congress. For more live blogs, please click here.

Nowadays the most powerful communication channels are television and internet – so why don’t we use them to communicate climate change adaption? A member of the BBC, Pam Vallance, today explained how the BBC supports resilience through the media, especially in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The main need is to build knowledge in those areas where there is a lack of information. In doing so, the media helps to raise awareness and also contributes to creating collective climate change adaptation action.

The audience sits at the heart of everything we do

highlighted Pam Vallance during her presentation.

This means that media specialists must target a particular audience, in order to tailor the communication appropriately. For example, some kinds of audience need only more information in order to take action, while in other cases it is necessary to more clearly communicate the risks that must be faced. In doing so, the media should communicate the challenges of climate change without frightening citizens; they should highlight the solutions that will mobilize people to concrete actions.

Ultimately, the goal of communication is to allow people to access the information that is useful in implementing resilience solutions. It should not help people to see climate change issues as an accepted part of their everyday lives, but should motivate them to action.