Welcome to Silent Reef’s Environment Campaign Glossary.

Here you can find definitions of terms used by environment campaigners and others whose actions – for better or worse – affect the environment.

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Tip – Some glossary terms start with an assumed ‘campaign’, for example ‘audience’ should be understood as ‘campaign audience’ and ‘tactics’ as ‘campaign tactics’. Find out why we remove the ‘campaign’ here.

Bookmark this page for convenience and return regularly to better speak the language of environment campaigns.


Action Plan

A detailed description of who will do what by when to deliver one or more tactics.

An action plan is a key element of a campaign plan.

Related course content

The following link is for Silent Reef course students. Not a student? Enrol here.

Decide the who, what and when of delivering tactics: C1-Write Effective Campaign Plans > Tactics, Action Plans and Measuring Progress > Writing action plans


Advocacy strategy

Works to influence business and government decisions.

Campaigns using an advocacy strategy achieve their goals by pressuring targets to decide in favour of campaign solutions or circumventing targets to remove their power to decide the outcome.

Typical advocacy campaign goals are to:

  • Stop a development
  • Create a national park
  • Ban a toxic chemical

Campaigns can also use a behaviour change strategy (and they can use both strategies at the same time).

More on this subject

Learn about advocacy strategies in the Getting Started (Open Access) module of Silent Reef’s online courses. Claim your free course preview here.


Audience

The people, groups and organisations a campaign communicates with to achieve campaign solutions.

Audiences consist of people in various categories, including people unaware of the issue and campaign, supporters, opponents and neutrals (neither supports nor opposes the campaign).

Campaigns communicate with two kinds of audience chosen from public stakeholders:

An audience is a key element of a campaign plan.

Learn to conduct audience research to develop effective campaign messages with Silent Reef’s Communicate Effective Campaign Messages online course.

Related course content

The following links are for Silent Reef course students. Not a student? Enrol here.

Use criteria for choosing effective audiences when planning your campaign: C1-Write Effective Campaign Plans > Identifying Campaign Targets and Audiences > Choosing your audiences

Identify your audiences and conduct audience research to develop messages that motivate people to act and change: C2-Communicate Effective Campaign Messages > Choosing and Researching Campaign Audiences


Audience partner

A person, group or organisation that, on behalf of a campaign, influences and/or enables a key audience to take action or change an environmentally damaging behaviour.


Behaviour change strategy

Works to change people’s behaviours that damage the environment.

Campaigns using a behaviour change strategy achieve their goals by removing the barriers stopping their change community from making the change.

Typical behaviour change campaign goals are to:

  • Stop public littering
  • Reduce shark fin soup consumption
  • Increase public transport use

Campaigns can also use an advocacy strategy (and they can use both strategies at the same time).

More on this subject

Learn about behaviour change strategies in the Getting Started (Open Access) module of Silent Reef’s online courses. Claim your free course preview here.


Campaign

Planned and organised activities intended to achieve an identified goal.

More on this subject

Meet three types of environment campaigner and find out which type you are: Silent Reef blog > Anyone Can Run a Campaign to Protect the Environment With Silent Reef

Find out how to make the most of Silent Reef’s how-to campaign information and tools: Silent Reef blog > 3 Easy Ways To Access Silent Reef’s Environment Campaign Advice


Campaign leader

The person(s) responsible for motivating and organising campaign team members (staff and volunteers) to achieve the campaign goal.

More on this subject

Find out more about the campaign leader’s role: Silent Reef blog > How to Plan a Campaign: A Step-By-Step Guide > Step 2. Choose a campaign leader


Campaign plan

A detailed description of what a campaign wants to achieve and how it will achieve it.

Key elements of a campaign plan are:

Plan your path to campaign success from tactics to goal with Silent Reef’s Write Effective Campaign Plans online course.

More on this subject

Follow our 9 step guide to writing effective campaign plans and get your campaign launch-ready fast: Silent Reef blog > How to Plan a Campaign: A Step-By-Step Guide


Case for conservation

A collection of information demonstrating issue costs and campaign solution benefits.

More on this subject

Find out why research is a crucial tool for planning and running environment campaigns (with links to help you get the job done): Silent Reef blog > 5 Powerful Benefits Research Brings to Your Campaign


Change community (behaviour change campaigns)

A group of people whose behaviour is damaging the environment.

Campaigns using a behaviour change strategy achieve their goals by removing the barriers stopping their change community from making the change.

Examples of change communities are:

  • Littering tourists on Plumbai Island
  • Shark fin soup consumers in Our Town
  • Car-driving commuters in Our Town

A change community is a campaign stakeholder.


Environment

  1. The surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operatesOxford Dictionaries
  2. Any aspect of the natural world or the entirety of the natural world
More on this subject

Find out why campaigns to protect nature are also campaigns to protect people, communities and local businesses, and why environment campaigns work to protect non-natural environments: Silent Reef blog > Protect Nature and a Whole Lot More With Silent Reef.


Goal

The ultimate outcome a campaign works to achieve.

Examples of campaign goals are:

  • Stop (development) on Cloudy Downs farmland
  • Create Misty Forest National Park
  • Ban free plastic shopping bags in Our State
  • Stop sea turtle egg collecting on Turtle Beach
  • Reduce shark fin soup consumption by 70% in Our Town

A goal is a key element of a campaign plan.

Related course content

The following link is for Silent Reef course students. Not a student? Enrol here.

Set an effective goal for your campaign and avoid common goal errors: C1-Write Effective Campaign Plans > Setting a Campaign Goal and Strategy


Issue

An environmentally damaging problem.

Examples of environment issues are:

  • Over-development
  • Land clearing / Deforestation
  • Marine debris / Plastic waste
  • Over-fishing
  • Mining
  • Global heating
  • Toxic chemicals
  • Genetically modified organisms
  • And many more
Related course content

The following link is for Silent Reef course students. Not a student? Enrol here.

Learn to identify the real issue, find issue causes and reveal issue impacts: C1-Write Effective Campaign Plans > Understanding Environment Issues


Issue driver (advocacy campaigns)

The organisation responsible for the issue.

Examples of issue driver are:

  • A corporation
  • A manufacturer
  • A developer
  • The government
  • A political party

An issue driver is a campaign stakeholder.


Issue proponent

The people and organisations that publicly support an issue.

In addition to the issue driver potential issue proponents include:

More on this subject

Take these 5 actions when the environment issue you’re campaigning against benefits people you need supporting your campaign: Silent Reef Campaign Library > Overcoming Issue Benefits (free download).


Key audience

An audience segment with a shared interest in the issue and/or campaign solutions.

Examples of key audiences are:


Local business

A business with a stake in the local community and/or change community.

Examples of local businesses are:

  • Farmers
  • Tour operators
  • High street stores, restaurants and bars

Local business is a campaign stakeholder.


Local community

The people living in the region affected by the issue.

The local community is a campaign stakeholder.


Objective

Creates a condition needed to achieve a goal.

An objective is a key element of a campaign plan.

Related course content

The following link is for Silent Reef course students. Not a student? Enrol here.

Learn to develop effective objectives for achieving your goal: C1-Write Effective Campaign Plans > Developing Campaign Objectives


Research for planning

The research needed to write an effective campaign plan.

Research for planning consists of the following topics:

  • Issue research
  • Environment research
  • Stakeholder research
  • Solution research
  • Campaign organisation research
  • Target research (advocacy campaigns)
  • Audience research

Master all research for planning topics and gain access to our extensive research resources with Silent Reef’s Write Effective Campaign Plans online course.

More on this subject

Understand the role of research for planning in writing effective campaign plans: Silent Reef blog > How to Plan a Campaign: A Step-By-Step Guide > Step 5. Conduct research for planning


Solution

An approach taken by a campaign to remedy an issue.

Campaigns describe how they intend to achieve their solutions using the following key elements of a campaign plan:

Related course content

The following link is for Silent Reef course students. Not a student? Enrol here.

Understand campaign solutions and learn 5 checks for effective solutions: C1-Write Effective Campaign Plans > Understanding Campaign Solutions


Stakeholder

A person, group or organisation affected by an issue and/or campaign.

Stakeholders may oppose, support or be neutral to the issue.

Stakeholders that play a major role in most environment campaigns include:

Related course content

The following link is for Silent Reef course students. Not a student? Enrol here.

Understand the role of stakeholders in your campaign, learn to conduct stakeholder research and recognise frequently met environment campaign stakeholders: C1-Write Effective Campaign Plans > Meeting Campaign Stakeholders


Strategy

A statement describing how to achieve a goal.

In broad terms environment campaigns use two strategies:

A strategy is a key element of a campaign plan.

For convenience, Silent Reef speaks about advocacy and behaviour change strategies as two different types of campaign but you can use elements of both to achieve your goal.

Related course content

The following link is for Silent Reef course students. Not a student? Enrol here.

Learn to set an effective strategy for campaign success and avoid common strategy errors: C1-Write Effective Campaign Plans > Setting a Campaign Goal and Strategy


Supporter

A person, group or organisation that agrees with a campaign solution and perhaps helps achieve the solution.

Develop and deliver campaign messages that turn a passive public into active supporters with Silent Reef’s Communicate Effective Campaign Messages online course.

Related course content

The following links are for Silent Reef course students. Not a student? Enrol here.

Learn an effective approach to campaign communications that removes audience barriers to action and change: C2-Communicate Effective Campaign Messages > Understanding Campaign Communications > An effective approach to campaign communications

Learn the importance of knowing your audience’s position on the path to action and change: C2-Communicate Effective Campaign Messages > Introduction to Developing Campaign Messages > The path to action and change


Tactic

An action or event used to achieve an objective.

A tactic is a key element of a campaign plan.

Related course content

The following link is for Silent Reef course students. Not a student? Enrol here.

Plan the actions and events needed to achieve your objectives: C1-Write Effective Campaign Plans > Tactics, Action Plans and Measuring Progress


Target (advocacy campaigns)

A person or organisation a campaign pressures to decide in favour of a campaign solution.

Examples of campaign targets are:

  • A chief executive officer (CEO)
  • A corporation
  • A politician
  • The government

A target is a campaign stakeholder and a key element of a campaign plan.

Related course content

The following link is for Silent Reef course students. Not a student? Enrol here.

Learn to choose effective campaign targets and how to pressure targets to decide in your favour: C1-Write Effective Campaign Plans > Identifying Campaign Targets and Audiences


Technical advisor

Someone with specialist knowledge of a particular field (e.g. ecology; economics; law) recruited to provide information and advice to people with a use for their knowledge.

More on this subject

Read the environment campaigner’s guide to recruiting and working with technical advisors: Silent Reef Campaign Library > Calling in the Experts (free ebook).