Protecting our Blue Marble: Together We Go Far
Updated: Oct 23, 2020
Noam Chomsky, the father of modern linguistics, is credited with saying, “There’s a tremendous gap between public opinion and public policy.” When it comes to wildlife conservation and animal welfare policy, this couldn’t be more true.
The overwhelming majority of Americans are not just against horse slaughter but are intensely opposed to the practice, and yet horse slaughter is still effectively legal. A June 2020 poll showed that Americans across the political spectrum support expanding our renewable energy sources at remarkable levels, and yet the current White House administration is supporting coal. Americans are now nearly four times more likely to say they’re alarmed about the climate crisis than to dismiss it, and yet we don’t have bold federal policy that addresses it.
So how do we tackle this disconnect?
This is where Blue Marble Strategy comes in. Legacy advocacy groups have established a business model that requires environmental and animal welfare concerns to continue in order to justify their fundraising efforts, but our group is different. Blue Marble is instead a nimble organization that seeks to make a swift impact on state and federal policy within a specific window. To paraphrase country music legend, George Strait, “we’re not here for a long time, we’re here to make a difference.”
Instead of representing large special interests, our clients are smaller organizations who are otherwise shut out of policy efforts and miss out on advocacy opportunities. Our approach makes policy initiatives more accessible for these groups whose voices are incredibly important but often unheard.
Today’s increased communication avenues (social media, online advertising, offline advertising, media coverage) give these groups a broader reach than previously possible. The silver lining of shifting to a primarily virtual setting in 2020 is that more people can connect with a cause than just those in your immediate community. We saw this happen in real time in Virginia with the passing of Tommie’s Law, where the story of an innocent pit bull lit on fire in Richmond went viral and brought the entire state together to strengthen animal cruelty legislation. We’re seeing versions of Breonna’s Law being proposed across the country as the story of Breonna Taylor’s wrongful death has gripped the nation. The power of social media campaigns and the connectivity of the internet, love it or hate it, is an effective tool to promote policy change for the better.
Not all campaigns are created equal, however. We’ve all seen the photo of the starving polar bear on a floating ice cap or heard the Sarah McLachlan song, but these tactics don’t create lasting support. Studies show that shock and awe campaigns might elicit an immediate temporary response, but they don’t lead to action. Instead, Blue Marble helps our clients create campaigns that utilize the best available research, leveraging proven communications tactics and behavioral psychology techniques that create a movement, rather than just a moment.
Having worked in numerous congressional offices on both sides of the aisle, along with different lobbyist efforts spanning multiple wildlife conservation and animal welfare issues, the team at Blue Marble has built an extensive network in the policy landscape. Our client list is the result of relationship building over the past 20+ years, and we’re growing. Regardless of the results of the 2020 presidential election, engagement in both federal and state policy will continue to be more important than ever. If your group is looking to make a difference, we’re here to help.