THE SO TOOLKIT
07. RAISE YOUR PROFILE
Raise your profile in your community, and engage your local leaders. You will need drive and commitment at all levels.
We spoke to everyone we knew about what we were doing, gave updates to the Parish Council in their monthly meetings, put information in the monthly newsletter, joined or registered for various organisations such as becoming Clean Air supporters, registering for SAS (Surfers Against Sewage) Plastic Free Champions programme, make sure your group is on the list for your local councils for any climate change workshops or communications. Contact other groups. Sign up for any relevant newsletters. Contact your local Borough and County Councillor, your local MP. Tell them what you are doing. See what other local groups are in your area. Attend green or eco fairs (when we are able of course). Don’t miss any opportunity to promote yourselves. Promote yourself through social media by being seen to be retweeting useful, relevant and clear information and articles, or ideas or events. Try to piggyback on other sites – e.g. Overton has MOOS (Mums Of Overton) which has 1.2k members. The more you are seen to be doing things, and listening to people, the more your social media following will grow. This can be slow at first, but will build over time. Ensure you respond to any comments on your website or social media quickly and professionally. Engage any potential volunteers or helpers swiftly.
HAVING CLIMATE CONVERSATIONS
Keep talking about climate change and energy initiatives to everyone you meet/know, help can come from the most unexpected places.
Even people who are not interested in joining the group can still assist in a variety of ways.
Use your networks, and ask all group members to use theirs.
Even people who are not local to your parish can offer help – we had a free media report done by the generosity of a Leeds -based business due to the furlough scheme.
A good example of climate conversations paying dividends is how we came to the attention of BBC South, who were doing a piece on Carbon Footprint (link here) in Basingstoke about off-setting, and after a conversation with a friend of someone in the group, decided to link us up with the story. This was right at the start of our journey when we were unclear as to how we were going to tackle this problem. You can see the video here. John Buckley at Carbon Footprint has been really helpful in sharing their carbon calculators with us, and providing valuable information.