KLA Perspectives

New Year, New Beginning: Make a Plan for Consistent Climate Content

Posted by Kim Lundgren on Jan 26, 2023 9:28:00 AM

Have you planned your communications content for today? For next week? Q1? How about 2023?

If you don’t have your plan quite ready, we’ve got you covered. Planning communications content can seem daunting, but consistent content is key to keeping communities engaged in action throughout the year.

The revamped KLA 2023 Editorial Calendarprovides a detailed community, sustainability, and climate-related dates and holidays; monthly themes for community climate engagement; as well as tips and tricks for communications best practice.

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Topics: content, community engagement, resources, branding, communications

Press Play on the Power of Video for Climate Action Engagement

Posted by Kim Lundgren on Nov 16, 2022 3:35:28 PM

KLA clients lead the way with innovative, scalable, replicable climate solutions at the local level.
Each month in 2022 we will shine a spotlight on their bright ideas.


Did you know that 95% of people are likely to remember a call to action after watching a video compared to just 10% who read information in text format?

It’s safe to say that these days you can’t effectively communicate with or engage people in your community without video. That includes climate action planning and implementation.

You can have ambitious emissions slashing opportunities, blockbuster partnership models, and interactive engagement plans, but those bells and whistles aren't enough. If you aren’t reaching people – if they are glossing over your text-heavy emails, scrolling past your standard social media posts, and never setting a virtual foot on your website – you won’t get very far.

That’s where video can be the bright idea that allows the rest of your bright ideas to see the light of day.

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Topics: video, community engagement, local leadership, climate leadership, bright ideas, communications

It's Always the Right Time to Start Using an Editorial Calendar

Posted by Kim Lundgren on May 13, 2022 8:24:48 AM

Use this template to be more targeted, timely and effective with your climate and sustainability communications

Think about what makes the news headlines or gains social media traction. Some of it -- a sports upset, political spat or Hollywood faux pas (no one predicted that Will Smith slap) -- you can't plan for. But a lot of it you can. 

The Super Bowl and its buzz worthy commercials hit every winter. Bill Murray memes will pop up on Groundhog Day,  just as you'll see Yoda and Darth Vader everywhere on May the Fourth/May the Force day. Earth Day stretches across April. Every May is Bike Month. Summer heat waves happen. The holidays will consume us all in November and December. 

The only question is: are you ready to leverage those opportunities for your climate and sustainability goals? 

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Topics: community engagement, communications

5 Ways to Tap Into Your Community's Earth Day Momentum

Posted by Kim Lundgren on Apr 11, 2022 9:09:13 PM

For local governments, engaging the community is key to achieving climate goals, and Earth Day is one of the best opportunities to get people to take action. That’s especially true right now when the recent headlines – like USA Today’s "'It's now or never': UN climate report shows globe is on 'track toward an unlivable world'"-- are driving awareness and, ideally, action.

The next few weeks are when people will be searching online for ways to "go green." It's when you have the chance to convert someone looking for a one-time litter or river clean up into a regular participant in your climate programs.

Earth Day can be a springboard for climate action in your community.

But you can't do this if people need a PhD to understand the challenges your community faces and where you're headed. Or if they have to navigate a typical local government website to find the most effective actions. Don’t lose the Earth Day momentum!

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Topics: sustainability, community engagement, dashboard, resilience, earth day, KLA

Heat Pump Coaches Get Residents -- and Climate Goals -- to Yes

Posted by Kim Lundgren on Mar 28, 2022 10:38:01 AM

KLA clients lead the way with innovative, scalable, replicable climate solutions at the local level.
Each month in 2022 we will shine a spotlight on their bright ideas.

Heat pump coaches in Concord, MA, help meet a climate goal:
getting homeowners to transition to efficient heating and cooling

“Why You (and the Planet) Really Need a Heat Pump.” We saw this headline the other day and our minds went to KLA client Concord, MA.

Like many communities sifting through data to identify the biggest-bang-for-your-buck ways to slash greenhouse gas emissions, getting more residents to switch to heat pumps emerged for Concord as a top strategy. But the process of transitioning a heating or cooling system to a new fuel source – plus choosing the right equipment and installer -- can be daunting for people. To begin with, don’t assume that heat pump technology and the benefits are common knowledge. In fact, a recent survey done by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) found that 50% of Massachusetts residents do not know what heat pumps are.

So it wasn’t surprising that in Concord the uptake of heat pumps to meet climate action goals was happening too slow and needed a nudge.

That nudge comes in the form of a coach.

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Topics: community engagement, local leadership, climate leadership, bright ideas

How an Employee Climate Training Program Can Boost Engagement and Action

Posted by Kim Lundgren on Feb 22, 2022 12:45:00 PM

KLA clients lead the way with innovative, scalable, replicable climate solutions at the local level.
Each month in 2022 we will shine a spotlight on their bright ideas.

A key but often overlooked strategy for local climate action plans is a training program for city/town/county employees to raise awareness of climate challenges and solutions among an important audience.

That wasn’t lost on KLA client San Antonio, which included “educate and empower all residents with knowledge to address climate change in the community and at the workplace” as a strategy in their Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. And they’ve already made good on that promise through a robust and ongoing employee training program.

For a city that employs 13,000 people, leading by example can make a big dent.

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Topics: community engagement, local leadership, climate leadership, bright ideas

Denver's Chief Storyteller on the Power of Stories to Engage Your Community

Posted by Kim Lundgren on Oct 29, 2019 12:35:14 PM

In the local government world, we are constantly trying to push information OUT to members of our community. A new initiative. Results from a previous initiative. A planning process. A public forum. A revamped website. Even when we’re seeking people’s feedback, we’re asking them *our* questions in a survey.  

Which is why I found my recent conversation with Rowena Alegria for KLA’s SAS Talk with Kim podcast so fascinating. Alegria has the supremely cool title of Chief Storyteller for the City and County of Denver, Colorado, and the even cooler goal to “change the history of Denver,” one story at a time. 

LISTEN NOW. 

Her team’s approach -- the core of which is a “storytelling lab” -- has had the amazing result of turning interactions with residents into two-way conversations, the holy grail of community engagement. And these aren’t just the usual suspects. Denver’s storytelling labs have drawn a diverse array of Denverites and catalogued stories that you won’t hear at a typical public meeting. 

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Topics: community engagement, storytelling

New Resource! 4 Steps to Add Street Teams to Your Equity + Community Engagement Efforts

Posted by Kim Lundgren on Sep 25, 2019 10:17:17 PM

KLA's Summer Intern takes a look at our latest resource, a 4-step guidance document on adding "street teams" to your community engagement strategies.

By: Claire McCoy

We know that one of the most effective ways to effectively engage your community during a planning or similar process is to get out in the community. To be present at community events. To convene small get-togethers. To show up at the places where people live, work, play and commute. 

But for busy local government staff, that can be a time and resource intensive exercise. And you might not be in the best position to get honest feedback. 

 

That’s why a key ingredient for robust, equitable engagement is street teams. 

Given the questions about and interest in street teams on our recent Equitable Engagement webinar, we pulled together a resource on the topic. It includes:

  • a detailed 4-step Recruit-Train-Coordinate-Evaluate process
  • best practices for getting your municipality’s first street team up and running
  • pro tips
  • resources like job descriptions and contracts 

Download our 4-Step Street Teams Guidance

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Topics: community engagement, equity, planning, youth outreach

Box City: What Our Kids Are Learning - And Can Teach Us

Posted by Kim Lundgren on Jun 25, 2019 2:05:12 PM

School has just ended here in Boston, giving me time to reflect on all that my daughter, Charlotte, learned and accomplished in 3rd grade.

As a planner and sustainability professional working with local governments, I had a “proud mommy” moment visiting her class to check out Box City. A collaborative class project, Box City can tell cities a lot about what their future citizens want. 

It also got me thinking about the importance of two things we talk about with KLA clients often: youth engagement and regenerative thinking. 

The Kids are Alright

As these photos suggest, our kids are big thinkers. Here are some of the ways their ideas struck me forward-thinking: 

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Topics: community engagement, planning, youth outreach

How Indianapolis Used Animals, Bikes, Yoga and a Passport to Engage Kids in Sustainability Planning

Posted by Kim Lundgren on Aug 24, 2018 1:58:51 PM

Earlier we wrote about KLA’s work with the City of Indianapolis to think outside the box for public engagement in developing their Sustainability and Resilience Plan. Part of the Thrive Indianapolis approach is a focus on several populations that are not typically engaged in a community planning process, including youth. 

Young people -- which we defined loosely as elementary through high school ages -- will, after all, be the ones living with the impacts of today’s decisions longer than the rest of us.

So Indianapolis pulled together the first Thrive Community Day in mid-August as an end-of-summer celebratory and educational event specifically designed to engage a younger audience. It was a hit. 

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Topics: sustainability, community engagement, resilience, cities, youth outreach