The positive results we found in testing this campaign’s effects on visitors’ behavior were based on employing the following print, digital, and interpersonal communication tactics:
- Placement of signage in parks (24×36, 11×17, and 11×8.5 sizes) in locations visitors would encounter them
- Distribution of rack cards at main visitor center(s) to people who approached desk for information (At Assateague Island, they were given to every vehicle that entered)
- Volunteers and interpretation staff equipped with key messages to use in brief conversations with visitors and stickers (watch the training video made for Rocky Mountain National Park)
- Stickers made available at various locations throughout the park and given out by volunteers and interpretation staff
- Four social media posts: 1 each day across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Two new or revised web pages on the parks’ websites
Key messages to use in interpersonal communication
Research shows behavior change or compliance with park rules is more likely when mediated communication aligns with interpersonal communication. Ensure staff know the more detailed information that can be found on the materials, but you can also provide them the following few key messages.
- Remind visitors that when they see wildlife, to keep THE safe distance (rather than “a” safe distance –implies there’s a rule)
- “Give them room, use your zoom.” (many people are often taking photos)
- Telling people about the risks is useful, but be sure to also convey the ways that they can do the right thing and enjoy doing it:
- use their zoom,
- animal may stay longer allowing for more photos,
- see the animal do what it naturally does,
- be a part of the park’s mission, and/or
- help keep national parks’ animals unique (not a zoo).
How do I edit/adapt the media files?
You will want to hire or use someone who has knowledge and skills using Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. It may be cheapest/most efficient to outsource the editing to a graphic designer, if you do not employ someone with those skills. You can also reach out to local colleges to find students who may be interested in project-based work like this. Depending on their skill level and amount of changes needed, based on our experience, we believe it would take around 8 to 12 hours of time to customize all of these files to your context (including the text/copy). Additional costs may be required if you need graphics or photos of other wildlife species that are not included.
They can be used by anyone. Attribution is not required and there are no restrictions on use or adaptation, with one exception: You are not permitted to use the trademarked NPS logo or fonts (Rawlinson) if they are not being developed for a national park. If you have questions about the files, you can contact Katie Abrams (Katie.firstname.lastname@example.org).
Which version of the main visual is best?
We recommend using the “stacked” version whenever possible, particularly for main signs.
When space does not allow, the “single-plane” version is appropriate, but not as visually intuitive for people to process as the “stacked” version.
About how long is a bus? What unit of measurement should we use?
Full-sized buses vary in length from about 40 to 50 feet. Keep in mind, you’re only trying to help people judge the distance, so getting picky about exact measurements is not fruitful in terms of communicating with visitors. The distances should be within your park’s regulations, but they can be different (further away) if desired for visitor or wildlife safety purposes.
We did not assess which unit of measurement visitors may understand better or prefer. Many people are somewhat unfamiliar with judging the kinds of distances we’re typically talking about anyway. So the unit of measurement is less important than the visual representation of that distance. You’ll see we chose to communicate in feet and meters in our test parks.