[Coral-List] connecting to the masses

Shanee.Stopnitzky at sce.com Shanee.Stopnitzky at sce.com
Thu Aug 7 14:02:33 EDT 2008

Hi all,

Educating the masses is an issue of pop culture. Let's establish a 
charitable organization, a Marine Marketing Trust, with a board made up of 
professionals who are mostly from the entertainment industry (of course 
these are the most successful educator of the masses - in this US), 
including ad agency creative directors, agents, film producers and other 
people whose business it is to make things appeal to the masses. Many of 
these people are looking for a cause and are able to donate small amounts 
of time and significant expertise, including the power to get lots of free 
or heavily discounted advertising. This is not a job for scientists! As 
far as I can tell, there are two primary ways that information is 
delivered to the masses: by one charismatic spokesperson who gains 
popularity by luck, or by an army of people who will be fired if what 
they're selling doesn't sell. It is these people who know how to fundraise 
on large scales, pull strings and make the public buzz. With the right 
team of people proposing it, it would even be possible to merge the two 
and create a celebrity devoted to ocean issues. 

The decline of ocean resources and coral reefs is itself a charismatic 
issue - they are adored throughout the world and most people in the US 
would be happy to  make small 'sacrifices' to make the fish happy again. 
There are plenty of examples of public consciousness radically changing 
patterns of consumption. The broad public is receptive, just hard to 
reach. They can be reached by using people who have reached them 
before...Gore's people, Obama's people, The Dark Knight's people, Jacques 
Cousteau's functional equivalent - a poetic, creative person who shows how 
humans relate to, reflect on and have adventures in the marine envionment, 

Yes, these types of campaigns cost a lot, but I think there are only a 
handful of people on this list, if that, who know what that cost actually 
is. There are many organizations that fundraise on the scale needed, it is 
NOT out of reach. I have been to quite a few 'industry' charity 
fundraisers and the way funding happens would be as revolting to most of 
you as it was to me, but it does happen. The question isn't whether it can 
be done because there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it can, the 
questions are what message is most important? Who will do it? Will it 
undermine the work of others? Is this the best way to spend money?

(Of course this is a separate but related exercise to local outreach, 
which is absolutely vital).

I think this is in the off-topic realm, so please reply off-list. 


More information about the Coral-List mailing list