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Nature's Benefit Messaging Memo

Eleanor Morris

Nature’s Benefits. Nature’s Value. Ecosystem Services. By whatever name you call it, the concept is one that has incredible power. The idea that we can focus on the measurable benefits nature provides, in dollar terms or by other measurements, has the potential to catch on as a message frame for advocating conservation. Yes, nature has value and should be protected in and of itself.  But the idea that we should count and protect measurable benefits is one that shows important possibility. And recent research shows that voters are listening. A nationwide study completed by The Nature Conservancy and other partners and stakeholders shows how responsive voters can be when the message is framed in this way. This memo won’t repeat the findings of the research, but aims to interpret the results mentioned above, with an eye towards using it to communicate to your audience. Attached at the end will be some sample message tools – a sample press release, a sample speech, and a draft op‐ed, that you can use as models for some of your own work using this messaging. Many communicators reach first for talking points, a series of important sequential points. As a format, talking points are limited to circumstances where one has time to enunciate each point in succession. But there’s a simpler tool many people use to stay focused on the strategic goal, called the Message Triangle.