If we don’t feel it now, why stress out?
How to tell the most important and difficult story possibly in all of human history, after failing for 30 years, is the task The Guardian is taking on in their podcast series The Biggest Story.
It’s not just about the facts. They’re out there and in mountains of published scientific papers and data. It’s about engagement with the public, an uneducated public because even if you know many of the facts about Climate Change, even if you’ve completed many years of study, you still don’t the full complexity of data associated with the topic.
I’d suggest you listen to the full series of The Biggest Story but the most important aspect is to engage with the public’s psychology. How people think and deal with something which seems intangible and distant when there’s more pressing daily worries to consume their time and energy.
This is about how best to tell the story of Climate Change!
Getting attention without burning out.
It’s not just about the data but how to tell a story which keeps people engaged for the long term. Compassion Fatigue is well-known among charities from overwhelming donors with repeated approaches. We only have so much energy to give to a task before the repeated constant demands for attention simply wears people out. In this piece the one topic they don’t mention is attention fatigue.
The staff of The Guardian want to get attention, to find the viral impact but I wonder if they have the killer idea, maybe they should leave it for later and use something nearly as good so when the public tires they still have the big guns to bring out.
This is a classic example of looking for the way to capture an audience, maintain interest in a complex issue and cause positive impacts over the very long term. This is without doubt the most pressing and difficult task required today.