Developing a Communications Strategy for Red Tide in Florida
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) of the toxin-producing dinoflagellate Karenia brevis occur frequently throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
Accurate and effective communication is essential for ensuring
public safety and protection of the local economy.
The goal of the project is to advance red tide communications by aligning practitioners (i.e. agency) needs with end-user (i.e. resident and visitor) wants by developing a better social science understanding of preferred red tide information, formats, and delivery modes. Participation and collaboration with stakeholders are central to the success of a statewide communication strategy that seeks to develop innovative educational approaches and messaging to better communicate and promote the use of science-based information in decision-making during red tide events.
A multi-faceted approach to participatory research methods will be used to develop this communication strategy. Data collected via interviews, web queries, focus groups, and from new and existing public opinion survey results will be used to inform the development of a communication strategy comprising short-term responses to events and guidance towards a long-term educational campaign, with both approaches using multilingual and multimodal outreach materials.