Twitter Campaign Helps Yale Project Spread Important Climate Message

Twitter Campaign Helps Yale Project
Spread Important Climate Message

During the week of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC) found an effective way to generate a buzz in the global climate debate: Add a hashtag.

More than 2,600 Twitter users responded to the YPCCC’s challenge to give “#ClimateThanks” on the popular social media site, posting nearly 8,000 tweets about individuals and groups making a difference in the climate fight. Those tweets generated more than 25 million timeline deliveries, and reached more than 7.2 million unique followers.

Participants included high-profile climate scientists, U.S. lawmakers, journalists, non-governmental organizations and thousands of individuals who simply care about climate issues.

“All in all, the campaign far exceeded our expectations,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. “I was inspired by the positive energy and spirit of solidarity within the community. I also learned about a lot of people and organizations doing great work that I hadn’t known about before.”

The campaign also illustrated the power of social media to “flatten communication hierarchies,” allowing anyone to contribute to the discussion, Leiserowitz said.

“Yes there are still differences — some people and organizations have more followers or ‘reach’ than others — but some of the best tweets I saw were from unaffiliated individual citizens who care deeply about climate change,” he said. “Thus everyone could participate, everyone had a chance to be heard around this very large virtual ‘Thanksgiving dinner table.’”