Campaign Overview & Objectives
Why Tax Carbon?
The extreme negative effects carbon pollution has on the environment is hard to come to terms with. Many people feel that no matter what is changed, nothing will really be able to solve the problem. This defeatist attitude towards climate change is what the Tax Carbon Not The Future Campaign will directly confront. The campaign will focus on attempting to lower carbon pollution on both a large and small scale. The campaign will have three main objectives:
- Educate on the dangerous impact carbon pollution has on the environment, and the possible solution of a carbon tax
- Appeal to audience to lower their own personal carbon usage
- Advocate for implementation of a federal carbon tax
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter will be the platforms used for the campaign. Participants in the campaign will be encouraged to take a pledge to cut their own personal carbon use and share their efforts using the hashtag #MyCarbonDiet. The campaign will also organize events on college campuses where students can discuss the effects of carbon pollution and engage in advocacy for the implementation of a carbon tax by contacting their representatives. The hashtag #MakePollutersPay will be used to document these events and show the efforts being made by individuals to advocate for the reduction of carbon pollution on a larger scale. The point of the campaign is to show that both large and small scale efforts to reduce carbon pollution are important and can make a difference. By having a large number of people participate in small efforts to curb their own carbon usage, the campaign hopes to show lawmakers that a tax on carbon is a viable incremental solution to curbing the whole country’s enormous carbon consumption. The campaign will highlight ordinary people doing their part to lessen their carbon use and then call on the government to do their own part to lesson pollution.
Campaign Timeline: April 1- April 22 (Earth Day)
Campaign Target AUDIENCE
The campaign’s main target audience is students on college campuses who want to take on a larger role in advocating for climate issues. The campaign will work with student organizations that deal with climate issues to organize events. My campaign is choosing to focus mainly on college students because most of the younger generation believes that climate change is a real issue that needs to be addressed. Despite this, it is often hard to get young people involved, especially when they feel like their contributions will make no difference. The campaign hopes to channel the passion of young people into concrete action through emphasizing the importance of each individual role played in the campaign.
- #PutAPriceOnIt: A campaign by YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY and @ourclimateus created with the goal of advocating for the implementation of a tax on carbon pollution. This campaign has a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that shares the efforts of those advocating for putting a price on carbon. The campaign also reaches out to college students with a guide for organizing support for carbon tax legislation around campus. The campaign utilizes short comedic videos with celebrities such as Jack Black and Cecily Strong that give little detail on carbon taxing, but encourage viewers to learn more about the campaign and its goals.
- Carbon Visuals: Carbon Visuals is a website that also interacts on Twitter and Facebook, sharing visual descriptions of the negative effects of carbon pollution. They use media such as eye-catching images, short animations, Vines and GIF files to illustrate important issues and appeal to young people who enjoy receiving information in visual forms. This campaign has touched on issues such as the California methane leak, the ozone layer, water issues and more. They also advocate for solutions to fix climate change issues using visual mediums.
- Grow Following to 150,000 people across the three social media platforms: By reaching the goal of 150,000 followers, the campaign will reach a large audience and be able to educate on the dangerous impacts of climate change and the possible solution of a carbon tax. To do this, the campaign will use celebrities and public figures in videos and have them participate in the #MyCarbonDiet portion of the campaign. There will be also three events held on college campuses with guest speakers Leonardo DiCaprio, Don Cheadle and Bernie Sanders that will be shared on the social media pages to further the conversation on climate issues and the possible solution of a carbon tax.
- Have 10,000 people share their efforts to cut carbon usage using the hashtag #MyCarbonDiet: The campaign will begin with sharing different ways college students and others can cut their carbon usage in easy ways that added up can make a big difference. Participants in the campaign will then be encouraged to make a personal pledge to cut their carbon footprint in some way and then to share their efforts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook in the form of a picture or video with the hashtag #MyCarbonDiet. The campaign will feature at least one of these efforts a day on their page as examples of small positive change that can make a real difference. By incentivizing posting personal efforts by the possibility of getting featured on the campaign's main account, the goal of 10,000 people using the hashtag seems possible. Also, by having celebrities who have been vocal on climate issues sharing and using the hashtag, normal people will be encouraged to do so as well.
- Have 20 campuses around the country hold campaign events: The campaign will personally organize three events with notable guest speakers, but will also provide a template for campaign events that can be organized by leaders of climate issue student organization on campuses. These events will be centered around both discussion and action. The first part of the event will give students time to discuss with each other the benefits of a taxing carbon and the reasons why this is so important. The second part of the event will be around organizing action, whether that be organizing demonstrations around campus or calling law makers and urging them to put a tax on carbon. These efforts made on college campuses will be tracked and shared on social media with the hashtag #MakePollutersPay. Student organization leaders will feel compelled to host events for the recognition it will bring them on social media. The campaign will share all efforts made by student organizations to discuss this issue.
Keystone Pipeline Protest at Georgetown
Social Media Outreach Plan
- Celebrity messages: Sharing short videos made by celebrities participating in the campaign will take place mostly on Instagram. Celebrities such as Emma Watson, Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder will share short videos encouraging others to participate in the campaign by both cutting their own carbon footprint and by contacting lawmakers to advocate for implementation of a tax on carbon. These videos will be posted towards the start of the campaign to raise awareness and encourage more people to participate.
- #MyCarbonDiet: Sharing the small efforts made by normal people to reduce their own carbon footprint will be the campaign's main purpose on Instagram. The campaign will at least one video or picture everyday of some person's effort to reduce carbon consumption. The purpose of sharing these efforts is to highlight the importance of small scale efforts in creating change.
- Clips of longer videos: The campaign will produce three types of videos; ones on descriptions of the negative effects of carbon pollution, ones on ways to reduce personal carbon consumption and ones on advocacy for carbon tax legislation. Instagram does not allow long videos to be posted so clips from these videos will be posted along with links to the full video that encourage the audience to watch.
- #MakePollutersPay: This hashtag will be the main one focused on on Twitter. People will share their efforts to advocate for carbon taxing using this hashtag and will also be encouraged to tweet directly at lawmakers and public officials who oppose this legislation and encourage them to reconsider. This hashtag will also be used to document events taking place on college campuses. The campaign will retweet efforts made by students and celebrities to advocate for carbon taxing, spreading the mission over thousands of twitter feeds.
- Videos: The videos that can not be posted full length on Instagram will be shared in full length on Twitter. These videos that educate people on the issues and goals of the campaign will be shared by celebrities and public figures who will then in turn bring more recognition to the campaign. The videos will not be too long; not more than five minutes in length so they will not seem like a chore to watch. A video will be scheduled for release every other day.
- #MyCarbonDiet: Though Instagram will be the main home for this hashtag, efforts by individuals to cut their own personal carbon usage will also be shared using twitter. Twitter will be more celebrity based featuring more efforts by celebrities to cut their usage. The campaign will still feature efforts by normal people, but the focus on twitter mainly surrounds the efforts to advocate for carbon tax legislation.
- Campaign Events: Campaign events will be organized using Facebook. The three campaign organized events will be posted as soon as the campaign starts with videos trailers of the three speakers at each event. Students will also be encouraged to start their own events on their campuses which will then be shared by the campaign's main Facebook page. The campaign organized events will use Facebook live to document them and students organizing events on campus will be encouraged to use Facebook live as well.
- Videos: Full length videos will also be shared on Facebook. Facebook is the best platform to share videos as it is very common to see people sharing videos on Facebook. The campaign wants to see these videos shared and spread across thousands of people's timelines and plans to do this by having celebrities share these videos and having appearances by celebrities themselves in the videos.
- Hashtags: The campaign will also share small and large scale efforts to reduce carbon pollution on the Facebook page. Efforts made using the #MyCarbonDiet and #MakePollutersPay will also be shared on Facebook. While Instagram is the central platform for #MyCarbonDiet and Twitter is the central platform for #MakePollutersPay, efforts made by individuals will still be shared on Facebook, though less frequently, around every other day.
The Tax Carbon Not The Future Campaign is ultimately about demonstrating action towards carbon pollution must be taken on both the large and small scale. By showing the amount of people that feel so strongly about this issue and are willing to work towards change, the campaign hopes that lawmakers will be feel obligated to create real legislation surrounding this extremely important issue. The campaign hopes to illustrate just how high the stakes surrounding carbon pollution really are and make people realize that it is up to every individual to start working and advocating towards change. Through sharing the voices of both ordinary people and celebrities doing their part to make a difference, the campaign will reach thousands of people who felt apathetic towards climate issues and convince them that their small steps can make a difference.