Communications and Connections

Current work plan

AGM 2016/17 Communications and Connections Working Group

The role of the Communication and Connection Working Group is to assist Suzuki Elders as they communicate their vision, values and an elder perspective on environmental issues and actions to specific groups and the general public.

The working group manages several communications vehicles. They include:

  • email amongst members of the Council
  • a Google Groups bulletin board for all Suzuki Elders
  • a Facebook page
  • a website for members and the general public (suzukielders.org).

These involve many hours of work by Elders Stan Hirst and Peggy Olive on the website, and Elder Bob Worcester managing the Facebook site and Google Groups, and their efforts are greatly appreciated.

Email amongst members of the Council was lively. During the year at least 200 messages were exchanged. No incidents of flaming were reported and proper etiquette was maintained.

The Google Groups bulletin board for all Suzuki Elders experienced over 250 posts. Here members exchange news stories and other relevant pieces of information with each other.

The Elders Facebook page is currently “liked” by 661 people, which means they are more likely to see the page when they log into Facebook. This represents a net increase of 154 people during 2016-7. During a recent month posts on the page engaged people 754 times when they either liked the page, commented, or shared a post. An innovation introduced in 2017 was the closer linking of posts made to the website and to the Facebook site respectively.  This, coupled with paid “boosting” of Facebook posts, has led to a noticeable increase in online traffic to both sites.

The Website during the 12 months of the 2016/2017 period saw the posting of 27 items to the website, each categorized under one or more of 10 subjects.  This is an increase from the total of 20 the previous year.  We note that the term “blog” was dropped from use in relation to the website since the meaning and significance of the term seemed to have confused SE members in the past, with undertones of exclusivity. Items added to the website are now referred to as simply “posts”.

During the year these posts attracted attention from 5046 online viewers around the globe, 31% of them from the U.S.A., 14% from France, 10% from Canada, and the remaining 45% scattered across 165 other countries. Most viewers were drawn to the website by search engines such as Google.

The subscriber list for the website currently totals 144, a modest number by internet standards, made up mainly of Suzuki Elder members, who collectively made 78 comments on the 27 posts.

By contrast, 583 of the 661 fans of the Facebook page are in Canada (88%), with 36 from the US and a scattering from 29 other countries.

In a February 2017 review of the website the Communications Group noted that the Suzuki Elders, as a group, have yet to clearly define goals and user policies for the two online sites, and the Communications will be working on this issue during the coming year. The Group will also be involved in providing communications expertise and resources to other Suzuki Elder groups, finishing the Elder Story Project, participating in the Foundation’s summer camp as story tellers, and pursuing links with First Nations Elders in ways that enhance shared knowledge of elder perspectives on the environment.

Respectfully submitted,

Neale Adams, chair (with contributions from Stan Hirst and Bob Worcester)

Members:  Neale Adams, Bob Worcester, Stan Hirst, Peggy Olive, Simon Wheeler.  Elder Story Project:  Neale Adams, Margo Elfert, Diana Ellis.

 

Previous Work Plans and Reports

StratPlanComCon2016

Communications and Connections Working Group –

Report to 2016 AGM

The role of the Communication and Connection Working Group is to assist Suzuki Elders as they communicate their vision, values and an elder perspective on environmental issues and actions to specific groups and the general public.

The working group implemented a plan developed during the previous year to consolidate and improve Suzuki Elder communications, which included email amongst members of the Council, a Google Groups bulletin board for all Suzuki Elders, a Face book site, and a website and blog for members and the general public (www.suzukielders.org). These involved many hours of work by Elders Stan Hirst and Peggy Olive on the website and blog, and Elder Bob Worcester managing the Face book site.

In particular, 20 blog posts were published (the most read post “How do we know when we’ve achieved a consensus” by Peggy), and the blog was visited over 38,000 times. Some 210 posts were made on the Face book page. The total number of visits to the website was 67,000 (including blog visits)—on average between 150 and 200 per day. Most visitors were from Canada and the US, but a wide variety of other countries was represented.

Led by Elder Bob Worcester, the communications group facilitated a panel discussion open to the public on COP21, the Paris environment event. The panel included DSF staff member Steve Kux, who attended COP 21, Kate Hodgson, a UBC student involved in planning COP 21 related activities, and Council Chair Diana Ellis who followed the COP 21 event closely while in Europe during that time period. The panel discussion was attended by about 40 Elders and others.

The Elders had an information table at a Seniors Day event put on at the Vancouver Public Library in October. Members of the working group continued to assist the Education and Community Engagement group on communications regarding their work.

The Group has done a great deal of work during the past year and has an ambitious program in place for 2016-17. All manner of ways are enlisted in spreading the messages of the Suzuki Elders and the Foundation.

Respectfully submitted,

Neale Adams, Chair, Communication and Connection Working Group

 

StratPlan15e

Communications and Connections Working Group –

Report to 2015 AGM

 

The role of the Communication and Connection Working Group is to assist Suzuki Elders as they communicate their vision, values and an elder perspective on environmental issues and actions to specific groups and the general public.

During the year the working group conducted a review of Suzuki Elder communications, which include email among members of the Council, a Google Groups bulletin board for all members, a Facebook site, and a website for the general public. The review resulted in the combination of what had been a separate Suzuki Elders blog with an informational website. The website was redesigned and a domain name was purchased. This involved many hours of work from Elders Stan Hirst and Peggy Olive.  Previous posts were transferred to the new site.

The Suzuki Elders Story Project, a joint effort of the group and the Education and Programs Working Group, continued. The project was designed to document stories about the experiences of Elders with the natural world, its value and how it has changed. A group of high school and university students worked with the Elders to create a promotional video to advertise the stories on the web. Students involved included Rosemary Chen, Aaron Leung, and videographer Jessica Lang. After two working meetings, and many long editing sessions, the video was posted on YouTube, and 10 edited stories were posted on the Elders’ new website.

Led by Suzuki Elder Bob Worcester, a speaker series held its inaugural even at a meeting room at Van Dusen Gardens in February. Peter Robinson, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation, gave a talk on The Future of Environmentalism, while Bob led the audience of about 65 in a series of interactive discussions. More events will take place in 2015-6.

The Suzuki Elders attended a Seniors Day event put on at the Vancouver Public Library in October . With assistance from the committee, Jim Park produced a pamphlet on climate change for distribution at the event and afterwards.

Submitted by Neale Adams, Chair, Communications and Connections Working Group