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U.S. Prairie Pothole Joint Venture
Implementation Plan

Appendix E:
Communication Plan


INTRODUCTION

In 1987, the PPJV Board established the Communications Committee and gave the committee the following assignment:

"The Communication Committee plans, develops, conducts, and evaluates a communications/education program for internal and external audiences of the PPJV. The program will include the development of objectives and strategies, target audiences, communication products, and evaluation. The committee promotes the development of networking systems for information and education programs, extension programs, and media and environmental education efforts at the Federal, state and private levels for PPJV communications efforts."

Several basic goals will guide the committee's work with conservation education program development over the next five years:

 Right Arrow Bullet  Develop awareness of the value of natural resources and the complex processes that maintain them.
 Right Arrow Bullet  Develop educational messages on threats to the environment and what individuals and organizations can do to better manage and maintain natural resources.
 Right Arrow Bullet  Motivate positive action to change and improve environmental management.

Additionally, goals originally developed for the PPJV Communications Plan will continue to guide program development in the next five years:

 Right Arrow Bullet  Generate understanding, involvement, funding, and support among constituents to achieve the goals and objectives of the PPJV and the NAWMP.
 Right Arrow Bullet  Educate about wetland values and how best to undertake management and protection efforts.
 Right Arrow Bullet  Develop a public wetlands conservation ethic and increase citizen participation in wetlands conservation.


NEW AREAS OF EMPHASIS

Based on experiences and accomplishments to date, the committee has refined its efforts to meet the needs of the PPJV. Future communications activities and products in the PPJV will emphasize the following:

 Right Arrow Bullet  Meeting information needs of customers and clientele.
 Right Arrow Bullet  Developing community-based approaches to local issues and problems that can attract dollars and wide-spread support.
 Right Arrow Bullet  Identifying opportunities for creating partnerships to enhance management of wildlife habitat.
 Right Arrow Bullet  Developing holistic thinking and sound biological data for wetland restoration and habitat management.
 Right Arrow Bullet  Encouraging responsible, informed decision making about managing wildlife habitat in the Prairie Pothole Region.


TARGET AUDIENCES

There are many diverse audiences that have shown an interest in, or have supported the PPJV through a variety of methods including financial donations, in-kind services, publicity, political support, and representation. These audiences include corporations and foundations, media, education, county and local governments, national, regional and local conservation groups, and political constituencies.

For the purposes of initiating the PPJV communications efforts, primary target audiences were landowners and agricultural groups, the media, and members of private conservation organizations (primarily local) with conservation interests.

As the PPJV communications strategy moves into its second phase, target audiences will be:

 Right Arrow Bullet  Landowners, ranchers, farmers, agricultural and local conservation groups
 Right Arrow Bullet  Agencies and organizations that are existing or potential partners in PPJV activities
 Right Arrow Bullet  Legislators and Congressional Contacts
 Right Arrow Bullet  Educational institutions K-12 and Universities
 Right Arrow Bullet  Local and regional media outlets
 Right Arrow Bullet  Land use decisionmakers


PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

Initial efforts of the PPJV communication strategy focused on: (a) developing awareness of the NAWMP; (b) threats to waterfowl and waterfowl habitat; and (c) activities of the PPJV.

Efforts also included education, primarily in the form of technical materials for wildlife managers and landowners, and specific educational materials for K-12 educational audiences.

When the Service private lands enhancement program became a reality, communications and educational efforts began to work hand in hand with the program, resulting in several products such as the wetland easement brochure, wildlife extension brochures, wetland restoration videos, and Wildlife Project Idea Book that were produced in response to direct requests from landowners and private lands enhancement specialists.

As the PPJV communications plan moves into the next phase, (a 5-year window), activities and efforts will continue to be developed to address:

 Right Arrow Bullet  needs identified in the private lands enhancement program;
 Right Arrow Bullet  needs identified through surveys and communication with target audiences; and
 Right Arrow Bullet  perceptions and emerging perspectives that affect the course of wildlife habitat management.

As part of the communications strategy, the "Theme For The Year" will be selected, and products, public events, and information will be developed to reflect that theme:

1994 Year of the Shorebird—Managing Wetlands, Waterfowl, and Shorebirds—A Systems Approach
1995 Alternative Strategies for Private Landowners To Manage Set Aside Lands
1996 Managing Ecosystems—The Watershed Approach
1997 Think Globally, Act Locally—Affecting The Community Involvement Process on Behalf of Wildlife
1998 Community Conservation Planning—Land Use Decision Making


RESPONSIBILITIES FOR DISTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION TO ENSURE COMMUNICATIONS

 Right Arrow Bullet  The Region 6 NAWMP Office and the Communications Committee will be responsible for developing and distributing information and products to all Board members, State Action Group Coordinators, Other Joint Ventures, the NAWMP office, other Service Regional Offices, private lands enhancement coordinators, national and regional political and media contacts where possible, national and regional outdoor and agricultural magazines where possible.
 Right Arrow Bullet  Management Board members will be responsible for distributing information and products to their respective organizations and State Action Groups.
 Right Arrow Bullet  State Action Group Coordinators will be responsible for developing and distributing information and products to all State Action Group members, local media outlets, political constituencies, agricultural and conservation groups, and Cooperative Extension Coordinators.
 Right Arrow Bullet  State Action Group members will be responsible for distributing information and products to their respective organizations and personal contacts in the local community and target audiences.
 Right Arrow Bullet  PPJV Flagship Project Coordinators will be responsible for distributing information and products to local landowners, local and regional media, political constituencies, and agricultural and conservation groups.

All PPJV partners are encouraged to become a member of an information distribution network of some type to ensure as broad a coverage as possible of PPJV information and education materials.


ACCOMPLISHMENT REPORTING

Now that the PPJV is in operation, reporting of accomplishments is an important and required task. The PPJV provides annual accomplishment information to the various accomplishment reports of the NAWMP. The PPJV has produced an Accomplishment Report (1991) in video format and has produced a written report for 1987-1993. The PPJV will hereafter provide a written Accomplishment Report on a 2-year basis.

Accomplishment information is critical for budget development and to increase support on behalf of the PPJV and the NAWMP.

The PPJV will use the International Tracking System as a mechanism to track habitat and dollar contributions to the PPJV and the NAWMP.

State Action Group Coordinators, together with Service Private Lands Coordinators and PPJV coordinators, will provide accomplishment information for development of all national and PPJV Accomplishment Reports.


ACTION ITEMS TO BE IMPLEMENTED







NEW COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES

Use of the "information highway" will become more common as skills and technology bring us closer to the 21st century. The Communications Committee will continue to investigate the use of electronic billboards and E-mail for distributing and downloading information for use by media, agency managers and landowners.


WORKING ACROSS THE BORDERS — SHARING IDEAS WITH CANADA AND MEXICO

The NAWMP is implemented by partnerships of organizations and individuals in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. For the PPJV, working with Canadian counterparts and sharing information has been traditional since the beginning of the program. The PPJV partners are encouraged to continue these cross-border efforts with our Canadian counterparts, and also look south to Mexico. Mexico's interest in non-game species and the use of the PPJV area by shorebirds and neotropical migrants indicates possible areas for collaboration and information sharing. Indeed, the PPJV Shorebird Education Project provides information to interested groups from Brazil and Uruguay to Australia.

The following are several areas where information can be shared internationally:

 Right Arrow Bullet  Progress Notes—add information and special notes (Alberta Accomplishment Report and Western Hemisphere Information).
 Right Arrow Bullet  Query Canada/Mexico for information and educational materials being developed—share educational products from PPJV and Canada/Mexico joint ventures.
 Right Arrow Bullet  Utilize Waterfowl 2000 and highlight international cooperation efforts.
 Right Arrow Bullet  Incorporate cross-border programs and ideas where possible.

EVALUATION

Evaluation continues to be an important element of the PPJV Communications program. Most products and programs have received a general and informal evaluation, including success of distribution, use of materials, comments received, requests for additional materials, and overall cost.

All products have been, and will continue to be, targeted to specific audiences. In the case of the Partners For Wildlife Calendar, a specific formal evaluation and survey are currently being carried out.

"Products" continue to be an important element of the PPJV program and our experience indicates that "Progress Notes," the Partners for Wildlife Calendar, the "newspapers," the "Do Your Part" video, the Pesticide training program, and other types of materials that can be used in education and training settings are most often requested.

Informal inquiries have been received from several graduate students regarding a survey and evaluation of the PPJV communications program. To date, no formal agreements have resulted, and the offer remains open.


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