6.3 Climate Science and Social Media: Success Reaching the Masses

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 2:00 PM
Room 6B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Katy Vincent Matthews, NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Information, Asheville, NC; and G. Hammer, S. Osborne, J. Fulford, and T. Maycock

Use the word “climatology” during a conversation at a party and you might get a few glazed-over looks. But tell everyone where they could see a clear view of a rare total solar eclipse, and your chances of becoming the center of the party improve. What grabs the public’s attention? Successful communication often touches on the human side of a story. Using several communications campaigns to illustrate the point, this presentation describes several popular web stories and social media efforts from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) that have ignited greater interest in science and scientific data.

Using examples such as the August 2017 total solar eclipse, March 1993’s “Storm of the Century,” and a reality check of the groundhog’s annual prognostications, this presentation analyzes what made each of this “click” with the general public and raise them to be some of the most popular in NCEI’s news feed. These projects generated significant public interest and showcased the application of science. The presentation covers tools and tips, relating to images and word choice, to improve your topic’s chance for social media success.

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