Monday, June 16, 2008

Mind your Ps, Qs, and now Cs

NESTA will launch its latest research report ‘The 7Cs, Why we need positive messages to sell low carbon living.’


And selling via positives is a definite step in the right direction.

But just wondering what the 7Cs might be? I guess they are part of 'low carbon living', but couldn't seem to find any more.

Shame I can't make it all that way, but I hope the report will be shared online.

Plus that it will recognise actual realities and practicalities, rather than idealistic or self-fulfilling notions, especially at official level.

I'm still getting research that tells me that 98% of people, when asked, think doing our best to save the planet is worth considering (making me wonder about the mindset of the 2% not in favour) as some kind of awareness box tick. Yet often it is associated with poor actual deliverables. No point asking a question in a way that gives a desired answer.

Often these things, and the results they derive, are works of beauty only report writers and niche industry insiders could love.

If this really tries to get under the skin of what the public/consumer audience thinks and how it responds to various campaigns it will indeed be worth reading. And acting upon. Too many messages, and waaay too much in comms budgets, is blown on ticking a box and making a committee headed by a Minister happy than actually reaching out and effecting change.

Process has often supplanted result.

It also helps if the consumer has mechanisms put in place that they can easily respond to once motivated. I have followed today's news reports on new co-mingled collections getting in the tonnages but not delivering useful recyclate with interest.

Addendum - Thanks to a fellow poster on another forum, I now have a link to the report. At first glance it looks like a bit of a trawl will be required to suss out much of use (maybe I will get to find out what the 7 C's are at last. Hope it's worth it. Fingers crossed there may have been some real communicators involved and not just a bunch of academics, researchers and civ. servs., otherwise it's valeu will be rather suspect), whilst agreeing with the basic premise, as I did when first I got wind of it.

Plus I am concerned at a trend I notice that is epitomised by their featuring a device in their study 'The Disrupters'. Whilst this is a worthy and stylish piece (there are many, more basic and cheaper versions for those who may feel energy monitoring to be a useful aspect of reducing their footprints - I have to say I stopped checking mine ages ago as it really told me little I felt I could do much about), it is also well beyond the budgets of most normal folk outside a Gaurdianesque lifestyle bubble.

Communication on matters environmental does need to be many things, and especially positive and proactive, but it should not be driven by the interests and ambitions of an affluent elite and/or paid/interested niche sector, or it will at best stay remote from the general public and hence remain practically irrelevant, but at worst risks creating an 'it's alright for them' kickback from those less able to indulge in such trendy aspects of carbon mitigation. Frankly not a major issue by the media buying trends I have noticed in complement to most creative executions so far. Colour ads in quality Sunday supps and 90' high budget (and 'brow' concept) TV indulgences placed in low rating (and hence niche) shows designed more for the awards ceremony than communication to any audience other than the advertiser's mates at the wine bar. We need to reach and motivate Fiesta family... not just amuse and get nods of approval from Prius person.

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