by Susan Kay Jacobson
Island Press, 1999
Paper: 978-1-55963-509-7 | Cloth: 978-1-55963-508-0
Library of Congress Classification QH75.J335 1999
Dewey Decimal Classification 333.72014


Community and public support are essential to the success of conservation and resource management programs. Often, the level of support received depends on whether or not the goals and importance of the program have been clearly explained to the public, the press, or policymakers. Without good communication, even the best programs are liable to fail.

Communication Skills for Conservation Professionals provides in-depth guidance on achieving conservation goals through better communications. It introduces communication approaches -- marketing and mass media, citizen participation, public information, environmental interpretation, and conservation education activities -- and offers scores of real-world examples and straightforward advice that will help conservationists develop the the skills they need to communicate effectively. Following an introductory chapter that provides an overview of the communication process, the book:

  • describes research techniques for gathering background information and targeting audiences

  • outlines the steps involved in developing a communications campaign

  • explains how to use mass media-from giving interviews to writing news releases and holding press conferences

  • provides examples for developing interpretive media for conservation

  • explores long-term conservation education strategies

  • presents program evaluation techniques to determine the level of success achieved, or to identify steps for improvement

Throughout, the author presents a rich storehouse of examples, guidelines, and planning tools for all kinds of communication challenges. Strategies and materials that have been used by organizations across the country -- from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to The Nature Conservancy, from Adirondack Park to Yellowstone National Park -- are featured, providing both inspiration and support for others involved with similar projects.

Communication Skills for Conservation Professionals is a much-needed contribution to the environmental literature that will play a vital role in helping scientists, managers, concerned citizens, and students to more effectively communicate their knowledge and concern about the environment, and to achieve greater professional and community success with their environmental campaigns.