This pilot investigated the effectiveness of engaging ethnic minority groups through community media. It explored how to reach groups who have often been omitted from previous environmental campaigns, in this case the Turkish-speaking community of North London.
To explore the effectiveness of using ethnic media to promote pro-environmental behaviour amongst the Turkish-speaking community in London.
This pilot used a variety of ethnic media and community communication channels to provide information on sustainable lifestyles. This was broken down into areas such as sustainable transport, recycling, and energy and water efficiency. For each of these areas, signposts to further resources were given.
Communication channels used:
A series of eight newspaper columns were run in Londra Gazete, a weekly independent newspaper for the Turkish speaking community, and four plays were run by leading Turkish Cypriot comedians and a performing arts group.
Profile of target audience:
The Turkish-speaking population in London, incorporating a wide range of ages and socio-economic status.
Motivators and barriers identified:
Many members of the Turkish-speaking community are very family-oriented and so are motivated by the actions and opinions of their family members. Celebrities such as Turkish-speaking footballers or comedians can help to promote the messages. A competition was run and prizes were given out as incentives to undertake a more sustainable way of living.
The jargon associated with sustainability could be a barrier. The word 'waste' directly translated into Turkish means something that can never be re-used. The project partners also agreed to avoid running the project during the holiday period of July and August.
Outputs / activities:
The Londra Gazete newspaper published a series of articles on environmentally friendly lifestyles, broken down into different areas of action.
The Turkish theatre company Happy Moon performed four productions of a comedy play on environmental themes in two areas with a high number of Turkish-speaking residents
Monitoring and evaluation:
A survey was conducted with newspaper readers and the people who attended the plays. Survey participants were asked if they recommended the communications channels used. Participants were also asked to recommend further communications channels for environmental messages. A Turkish-speaking facilitator was used to help with a focus group of audience members.
Key results / outcomes:
An audience of about 23,000 people was reached, representing about 10% of London’s Turkish-speaking population. Though the articles were well received, the play was found to be a more effective approach for communicating environmental messages. Other key communication channels suggested by focus group respondents were schools, ethnic TV and radio, and doctors’ surgeries.
“I just realised after reading this article that we never think about our behaviour about the environment.”
“In theatre you can visualise things that you can never grasp from reading this article 10 times.”
“Daily newspapers can be effective for a really cautious reader for the current time, but theatre is something different. You can remember a play even ten years later.”
Survey participants also suggested that incentives such as tax discounts, prizes or fines would be effective in encouraging pro-environmental behaviour. They also recommended using feedback to let individuals know that they were having a positive effect on the environment.
Replicability aspects - successes / lessons learned: