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Using Research to Strengthen Advocacy

Climbing up a snow covered mountain at dawn or dusk

The Situation

Take a Stand to Protect Our Land is the mantra of an organization of outdoor enthusiasts focused on protecting the places where they pursue their outdoor passions from climate change. This powerful message is based on work Artemis Strategy Group conducted with our partners at Neimand Collaborative and Protect Our Winters (POW). POW is a nonprofit that focuses on influencing legislation, policy, and individual action to fight climate change.

Above all, POW wanted to channel the energy and untapped potential of outdoor enthusiasts as a means to strengthen advocacy. Their goal was to engage their audience as advocates for policy changes to alleviate the worst effects of climate change. The team at POW had done prior research showing that their demographic is young, relatively affluent, informed and empathetic. However, these same people were somewhat disconnected from passionate political activism. POW recognized the potential to engage them into a political and policy force.

Strengthening advocacy: riding on a ski lift
Protect Our Winters group with a sign in front of a rock formation

Our Recommendation

Identifying How to Move From Awareness to Strengthen Advocacy

First, POW embarked on a robust consumer research project to strengthen advocacy via the number and intensity of climate advocates. They wanted to thoroughly understand the motivations of outdoor enthusiasts. As a result, POW could engage their audience more fully as advocates for climate-change-reduction policies.

POW commissioned Neimand Collaborative and Artemis Strategy Group to help move past an assessment of where outdoor enthusiasts are on climate change. Generally, they hoped to understand how to speed the individual journey from awareness to effective advocacy.

Artemis’ combined qualitative and quantitative research modes included:

  • Online bulletin boards: We keyed into the important role of social media influencers using in-depth qualitative discussions. These online conversations took place among POW athlete/influencer followers and non-POW outdoor enthusiasts. Overall, our work revealed insights into how climate change impacts their lifestyle, their desire to act and their desired interaction with POW Alliance members.
  • Focus groups: In-person focus groups in key geographic locations expanded on the online discussion. Here, we dug deeper into how outdoor enthusiasts see climate change impacting their lifestyle now and in the future.
  • Quantitative survey: Next, informed by the qualitative inputs, we conducted a nationwide quantitative survey of outdoor enthusiasts and oversamples in select POW geographies across a variety of outdoor sports. This study provided the information to build and deliver the “motivation map” of decision-making pathways related to climate change activism.

On the whole, Artemis’ motivation research showed how POW can connect with and recruit outdoor advocates across the political spectrum to support the fight against climate change.

The Outcome

Using the results generated by Artemis Strategy Group’s motivational research, Neimand Collaborative developed an effective message framework. POW used it to guide future communications and organizing strategies for POW Alliance communications, their redesigned website, social media language and other outreach to the outdoor community.

The details of this important research-driven campaign are available to review here [PDF].