An  Introduc+on  to   Thema+c  Communica+on  

Urban  Ecology  Australia     AGM  -­‐  November  11,  2008   Eric  Constan+n  

Thema+c  Communica+on     can  aid  anyone  in  fostering   sustainable  behaviour  and  crea+ng  a   Sustainable  City.  

If  informa+on  is  your  arrow.   .  then   Thema+c  Communica+on  is  the  bow   which  prepares  your  communica+on   to  effec+vely  hit  your  target.

Think  Thema+cally   A  Theme  is  different  from  a  topic.  at  minimum.   .       Declara+ve  sentences  have.  a  subject  and  a  verb.     A  theme  is:     •  the  central  or  key  idea  you  want  your  visitors   to  understand     •  the  take-­‐home  message  you  want  your   visitors  to  remember   Themes  are  always  expressed  in  declara+ve  sentences.

Think  in  Terms  of  Themes.  Not   Topics   Examples  of  Topics:   •  Birds   •  The  forest   •  Sharks   •  Shark  behaviour   •  Ancient  Aboriginal   lifestyles   •  •  •  •  •  Biodiversity  in  SA   Sustainable  Living   Australian  Wines   Wine  making   Behavioural  quirks   of  winemakers   .

Think  in  Terms  of  Themes.   •  The  vulture  fulfils  the  role  of  “garbage   collector”.    an  extremely  important  ecological   service.   .  Not   Topics   Examples  of  Themes  for  the  Topic  “Birds”:   •  Na+ve  Australian  birds  are  in  a  fight  for  their   lives.   •  Shore  birds  have  solved  problems  that  other   birds  were  never  faced  with.   •  Eagles  and  falcons  help  humans.

  •  Themes  are  beliefs.  even  if  they   forget  isolated  facts.  beliefs  are  the  building   blocks  of  aWtudes  and  behaviour.   •  Themes  provoke  people  to  think.   •  Having  a  theme  helps  YOU  prepare  and  be   more  focussed.   .Communica+ng  themes  has  a  purpose.

    •  If  you  want  people  to  change  their  ac+ons   and  behaviour. feel and behave.” (Ham.     “By communicating themes and providing experiential learning. 2003). .So  why  is  it  important  to  be   Thema*c?   •  If  you  want  to  make  a  difference  or  want   people  to  internalise  and  remember  what   you  said. you are planting seeds (beliefs) that can ultimately influence (reinforce or change) how people think.

Thema+c  Thinking   • Successful  interpreta+on  provokes  people  to   think.   • These  meanings  form  the  basis  for  whatever   degree  of  caring  they  are  capable  of  doing.     è  So  how  do  we  apply  Thema*c   Communica*on?   .   • Their  thinking  creates  meanings  in  their  own   minds.

  AWtudes  give  rise  to  intended  ways  of   behaving   Our  beliefs  give  rise  to  aWtudes  that  are   consistent  with  the  beliefs   Human  behaviour  is  ra+onal  and   consistent  with  what  we  believe  to  be. Fishbein and Ajzen 1975 .   Behavioural   Inten+on   AWtudes   Beliefs   * Ajzen 1985. Ajzen 1991.Theory  of  Planned  Behaviour Behaviour   Intervening Factors *   Behaviorial  inten+ons  give  rise  to  overt   behaviors  that  are  consistent  with   inten+ons.

Theory  of  Planned  Behaviour   According  to  the  TPB.e.  we  can  influence  how   others  behave  in  a  given  situa+on  by   impac+ng  three  categories  of  beliefs  they   have  about  the  behaviour  we  desire  of  them.   Behavioural   Beliefs   What  we  think  will   happen  if  we  perform  a   given  behaviour   (i.  self-­‐efficacy)   .e.  perceived   consequences)   Norma+ve   Beliefs   What  we  think  other   people  who  are   important  to  us  will  think   if  we  perform  a  given   behaviour  (i.  perceived   social  pressure)   Control   Beliefs   Our  percep+ons  for   whether  we  have  the   ability  and  opportunity   to  perform  the   behaviour     (i.e.

“Beliefs”  are  the  same  as  “Themes”.   Through  thema+c  interpreta+on.     implan+ng  in  a  person’s  mind  a  new  or  modified   belief     that  supports  the  desired  behaviour     creates  pressure  in  the  person     to  behave  in  ways  that  are  consistent  with  the   belief.   .

  è  People  are  going  to  forget  almost  all  of  the   isolated  facts  you  tell  them–  even  the  most   graphic.Strong  themes  stay  in  our  minds.   oben  forever.   è  But  the  overriding  conclusion  or  impressions   –  the  moral  of  the  story.  colourful.  mind-­‐boggling  facts.  especially  if  it  is   strongly  relevant  to  them.  the  big  picture.  the   BIG  DEAL  of  it  all  –  will  s+ck.   .

 really  important  for  this  audience   to  understand  that   ________________________.  I  think  it  is   really.Write  STRONG  themes  –   Think  BIG  DEAL   Complete  the  following  sentence  in  as   many  ways  as  you  can:     “When  it  comes  to  my  topic.”   .

 write  two  or   more  themes  for  an  assigned  topic.Expressing  a  Theme   Using  the  “Big  Deal”  model.     Your  topic:    Sustainable  Living   .

In  Summary   •  Beliefs  are  the  building  blocks  of  aWtudes  and   behaviour.   •  People  remember  themes  befer  than   informa+on  and  facts   •  Thinking  thema+cally  will  help  give  your   communica+on  greater  impact.   •  A  theme  is  the  take-­‐home  message  you  want   your  visitors  to  remember.   .

 protec*on.”   -­‐ wriAen  by  an  anonymous  US  Na*onal  Park  Service  ranger  in  an  obscure   administra*ve  manual  a  half  century  ago   .  understanding.   through  understanding.       “Through  interpreta*on.  apprecia*on.Thank  you.     through  apprecia*on.

Norma+ve   Beliefs   Subjec+ve  norm   Behavioural   Inten+on   Behaviour   A persons belief that certain factors either enable or inhibit Control   Beliefs   Perceived   behavioural   control   . Theory  of  Planned  Behavior   Intervening Factors Behavioural   Beliefs   AWtude  towards   behaviour   A person’s belief that specific individuals or groups think he/ she should or should not perform the behaviour. and their evaluation of these results. and their motivation to comply.A persons belief that a behaviour leads to certain results.

  “successful”  communica+on  is  almost   guaranteed.EROT  Model  of  Interpreta+ve   Communica+on   •  Based  on  two  centuries  of  research   •  When  all  four  quali+es  are  in  place.   •  “Success”  means  that  visitors  pay  aAen*on  and   get  the  point  (theme).   .

  Interpreta+on  is  organised   4.Interpreta+on  has  4  Essen+al  Quali+es   1.  Interpreta+on  is  relevant   –  Meaningful   –  Personal   3.  Interpreta+on  is  thema0c   .  Interpreta+on  is  enjoyable   2.

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