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How to talk about California's marine protected areas online

Upwell researched how people talk about California's marine protected areas online to learn what drives conversation and understand how to better engage Californians in paying attention to protected ocean resources.

Our findings show that most conversation about marine protected areas is educational in nature, but the content that drives conversation is celebratory and connects humans to marine resources. Talking about wildlife, explaining how MPAs work, and connecting with recreational and tourist activities helps increase attention.

We also learned that there is a big opportunity for advocates, ocean managers and educators to tap into local conversations to curate content, find new audiences and connect with local businesses that can serve as brand ambassadors for marine protected areas and marine reserves.

While conversation volume about California's marine protected areas is relatively low, there is a big opportunity to increase attention and impact through creative and targeted communication strategies.

You can view the recording of our August 2014 presentation of our research and recommendations at https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/playback/Playback.do?id=26b7r3.

Special thanks to the Resources Legacy Fund for their great work in establishing and protecting CA marine protected areas, and for making this research possible.

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How to talk about California's marine protected areas online

  1. 1. Online Conversation about California’s Marine Protected Areas July 2014
  2. 2. 140000 120000 100000 80000 60000 40000 20000 0 Ocean Acidification Cetaceans Gulf of Mexico MPAs Ocean Overfishing Sustainable Seafood Sharks Tuna 140,000 120,000 100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 !!! Ocean Dolphins & Whales Sharks Tuna Gulf of Mexico Overfishing Sustainable Seafood Marine Protected Areas Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Jun-12 Jul-12 Aug-12 Sep-12 Oct-12 Nov-12
  3. 3. Campaign insight
  4. 4. Keyword Research People Brand Campaign News Story / Blog Post Issue/ Cause Big Conversation
  5. 5. Keyword Research People Brand Campaign News Story / Blog Post Issue/ Cause Big Conversation California’s MPAs Michael Sutton OceanSpaces #CalifMPAs “Restrictions on fishing in marine sanctuaries seem to be working” Sanctuaries, reserves, conservation areas
  6. 6. 140000 120000 100000 80000 60000 40000 20000 0 Ocean Acidification Cetaceans Gulf of Mexico MPAs Ocean Overfishing Sustainable Seafood Sharks Tuna 140,000 120,000 100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 !!! Ocean Dolphins & Whales Sharks Tuna Gulf of Mexico Overfishing Sustainable Seafood Marine Protected Areas Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Jun-12 Jul-12 Aug-12 Sep-12 Oct-12 Nov-12
  7. 7. 500 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 California MPAs Social Mention Volume (12/1/12-1/31/14) Dec '12 Jan '13 Feb '13 Mar '13 Apr '13 May '13 Jun '13 Jul '13 Aug '13 Sep '13 Oct '13 Nov '13 Dec '13 Jan '14 CA MPAs
  8. 8. 500 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 California MPAs Social Mention Volume (12/1/12-1/31/14) Median daily mentions: 40 mentions Average daily baseline: 21 mentions Dec '12 Jan '13 Feb '13 Mar '13 Apr '13 May '13 Jun '13 Jul '13 Aug '13 Sep '13 Oct '13 Nov '13 Dec '13 Jan '14 CA MPAs
  9. 9. 500 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 Birthday celebration continues California MPAs Social Mention Volume (12/1/12-1/31/14) Dec '12 Jan '13 Feb '13 Mar '13 Apr '13 May '13 Jun '13 Jul '13 Aug '13 Sep '13 Oct '13 Nov '13 Dec '13 Jan '14 CA MPAs CA network of MPAs complete Underwater Parks Day #MPAsWork Twitter Chat Birthday Central Coast MLPA Symposium; #CalifMPAs CA Ocean Day, COAST luncheon; #CalifMPAs Obama to expand sanctuaries Possible Boat Hoax LA Times Editorial Marine sanctuaries appear to be working (LA Times)
  10. 10. News coverage drives spikes
  11. 11. Conservation meetings drive spikes
  12. 12. Celebratory events drive spikes
  13. 13. Conversation mostly among NGOs 57 55 50 48 42 40 39 38 36 36 33 32 28 27 25 22 20 18 17 17 16 98 117 115 @Ocean_Spaces @EKnight_OST @ErinMeyerPhD @ThePacificOcean @CaliforniaOST @HCarter_OST @lizwhiteman @HReiff @tony_hale @heroicseas @PenWW @N__W__S @JessicaShugart @GeorgeHLeonard @jen_savage @LAWaterkeeper @R_y_a_n_M @HealTheBay @ThankYouOcean @morgan_id @OpenChannelsOrg @ProjectBlueHope @OurOcean @brendanmcl Number of tweets by account, 12/1/2012 – 1/31/2014 213 0 50 100 150 200 @MPAtlas
  14. 14. Most 2013 tweets were technical
  15. 15. Most California MPA tweets educate Educate Protect Love
  16. 16. Highest engagement from love and protect
  17. 17. Highest engagement from love and protect
  18. 18. Case studies
  19. 19. 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 CA MPA Case Study Locations Social Mention Volume (12/1/12-1/31/14) Dec '12 Jan '13 Feb '13 Mar '13 Apr '13 May '13 Jun '13 Jul '13 Aug '13 Sep '13 Oct '13 Nov '13 Dec '13 Jan '14 Anacapa Farallon Islands Pt Lobos Elkorn Slough Pt Reyes Farallon Islands (1328 mentions)
  20. 20. Photos dominate in specific areas Point Reyes Anacapa Island More at: https://storify.com/upwell
  21. 21. Q&A
  22. 22. Strengthening the MPA conversation
  23. 23. Celebrate and protect.
  24. 24. Most California MPA tweets educate Educate Protect Love
  25. 25. Educate Love Tip: more <3 and protect Protect Educate Protect Love 2013 2014?
  26. 26. Tip: happy visuals
  27. 27. Tip: be human
  28. 28. Use what’s out there.
  29. 29. Tip: curate from enthusiasts
  30. 30. Tip: tie into shoreside campaigns and events
  31. 31. Tip: meet people where they are (online)
  32. 32. Who are your brand ambassadors?
  33. 33. Listen and be present.
  34. 34. Listen beyond brand
  35. 35. Listen to support peers #CalifMPAs Weekly Twitter volume for “#CalifMPAs,” 12/1/2012 – 1/31/2014
  36. 36. Listen to curate
  37. 37. Is your MPA geo-tagged?
  38. 38. Q&A

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