Environmental communication

Environmental communication
Environmental communication refers to the study and practice of how individuals, institutions, societies, and cultures craft, distribute, receive, understand, and use messages about the environment and human interactions with the environment. This includes a wide range of possible interactions, from interpersonal communication to virtual communities, participatory decision making, and environmental media coverage. From the perspective of practice, Alexander Flor, defines it as the application of communication approaches, principles, strategies and techniques to environmental management and protection. As an academic field, environmental communication emerged from interdisciplinary work involving communication, environmental studies, environmental science, risk analysis and management, sociology, and political ecology. It was first introduced into the MS Development Communication and MS Environmental Science curricula of the University of the Philippines Los Banos as a special topics course in 1996 and was formally approved by the UPLB University Council in 1998. Flor (2003) considers it as a significant element in the environmental sciences, which he believes to be a transdicipline, begins his textbook on environmental communication with a declarative statement, "Environmentalism as we know it today began with environmental communication. The environmental movement was ignited by a spark from a writer’s pen, or more specifically and accurately, Rachel Carson’s typewriter." Flor believes that environmental communication has six essentials: knowledge of ecological laws; sensitivity to the cultural dimension; ability to network effectively; efficiency in using media for social agenda setting; appreciation and practice of environmental ethics; and conflict resolution, mediation and arbitration (Ibid).
Environmental communication is also a type of symbolic action that serves two functions. Those functions are pragmatic and constitutive. Environmental communication is pragmatic because it helps individuals and organizations to accomplish goals and literally do things through communication. Examples of this include educating, alerting, persuading and collaborating. Environmental communication is constitutive because it helps to shape people's understandings of environmental issues, themselves, and Nature; it shapes the meanings we hold of these things. Examples of this include values, attitudes, and ideologies vis-à-vis Nature and environmental issues and problems.
According to Robert Cox, the field of environmental communication is composed of seven major areas of study and practice:
 
1.    Environmental rhetoric and discourse
2.    Media and environmental journalism
3.    Public participation in environmental decision making
4.    Social marketing and Advocacy campaigns
5.    Environmental collaboration and conflict resolution
6.    Risk communication
7.    Representations of Nature in popular culture and green marketing
 8.     Marketing Communications (or MarCom or Integrated Marketing Communications) are messages and related media used to communicate with a market. Marketing communications is the "promotion" part of the "Marketing Mix" or the "four Ps": price, place, promotion, and product.
 9.     Those who practice advertising, branding, brand language, direct marketing, graphic design, marketing, packaging, promotion, publicity, sponsorship, public relations, sales, sales promotion and online marketing are termed marketing communicators, marketing communication managers, or more briefly, marcom managers.
10.  The communication process is sender-encoding-transmission device-decoding-receiver, which is part of any advertising or marketing program. Encoding the message is the second step in communication process, which takes a creative idea and transforms it into attention-getting advertisements designed for various media (television, radio, magazines, and others). Messages travel to audiences through various transmission devices. The third stage of the marketing communication process occurs when a channel or medium delivers the message. Decoding occurs when the message reaches one or more of the receiver's senses. Consumers both hear and see television ads. Others consumers handle (touch) and read (see) a coupon offer. One obstacle that prevents marketing messages from being efficient and effective is called barrier. Barrier is anything that distorts or disrupts a message. It can occur at any stage in the communication process. The most common form of noise affecting marketing communication is clutter.
11.  Traditionally, marketing communications practitioners focused on the creation and execution of printed marketing collateral; however, academic and professional research developed the practice to use strategic elements of branding and marketing in order to ensure consistency of message delivery throughout an organization - a consistent "look & feel". Many trends in business can be attributed to marketing communications; for example: the transition from customer service to customer relations, and the transition from human resources to human solutions and the trends to blogs, email, and other online communication derived from an elevator pitch.
12.  Social commercials are rising, thanks to services like YouTube and Vimeo. According to a 2011 study, "88% of all companies that have conducted social media advertising are satisfied with it." Indeed, social commercials are steadily permeating our everyday lives, in the forms of billboards, apps, TV, and even print media.
13.  In branding, every opportunity to impress the organization's (or the individual's) brand upon the customer is called a brand touch point (or brand contact point.) Examples include everything from TV and other media advertisements, event sponsorships, webinars, and personal selling to even product packaging. Thus, every experiential opportunity that an organization creates for its stakeholders or customers is a brand touch point. Hence, it is vitally important for brand strategists and managers to survey all of their organization's brand touch points and control for the stakeholder's or customer's experience. Marketing communications, as a vehicle of an organization's brand management, is concerned with the promotion of an organization's brand, product(s) and/or service(s) to stakeholders and prospective customers through these touch points.
14.  Marketing communications is focused on the product/service as opposed to corporate communications where the focus of communications work is the company/enterprise itself. Marketing communications is primarily concerned with demand generation and product/service positioning while corporate communications deal with issue management, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, etc.