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Episode #133

How to Get People to Care (and act!) for Conservation with Brooke Tulley

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UPDATED: June 5, 2023
ORIGINALLY AIRED ON February 28, 2023

 

Making awesome nature photos is the “easy” part. The hard part is getting people who see the photos to care and make a behavior change. How do we do that?? Conservation communication expert Brooke Tully breaks down fascinating insights and ideas that'll get you fired up for how you'll use your photos to shake things up.

 

You know you want your photos to make a positive difference for the planet. But HOW to do that can feel big and confusing. Luckily, Brooke Tully is hard at work breaking it all down for us so we can understand what to do first, then next, then next to make an impact.

An expert in communications, Brooke is passionate about training conservationists how to design outreach plans that motivate action.

In other words, she helps us go from pounding our head against the wall to successfully understanding how to motivate people to action.

Brooke pulls together the best elements of commercial advertising, behavioral science, and her first-hand experiences in conservation to give us a road map to design our own effective communication strategies as visual storytellers (without us needing a degree in marketing!).

You'll Learn:

  • why audience matters
  • which audiences we should *really* be focused on
  • the ever-growing importance of joy
  • when changing up the photography can make a campaign more effective
  • and so much more

 

Resources Mentioned

Episode 133: How to Get People to Care (and act!) for Conservation with Brooke Tulley

Shownotes: JaymiH.com/133

(Digitally transcribed, please forgive any typos)

Jaymi Heimbuch:
[00:00:00] Jaymi Heimbuch: All right. Welcome to this episode of Impact, the Conservation Photography podcast. And we have a guest today that I'm very excited about because we're gonna nerd out on topics that I really love nerding out about, that when you are a conservation photographer, there are things that we need to think deeply about, but often we're so focused on the actual visuals, the photography of what we're doing, that we forget to think about some of these other elements.

[00:00:26] Jaymi Heimbuch: So we have an expert here today to talk about these elements like impact and communication styles and audience, and so much more. So welcome to the show, Brooke Toley.

[00:00:39] Brooke Tully: Hi Jamie. Thank you so much for having me. It's great to be here and I love when an intro starts with nerding. Ouch. Cuz like I'm so game for that.

[00:00:48] Jaymi Heimbuch: Well, wonderful. So we've got a whole lot that I'm excited to cover with you today, but I always start out my interviews the same way, which is, who is Brooke in the world?[00:01:00]

[00:01:00] Brooke Tully: Yeah, that feels like a giant question. But I will, I'll try to answer it in maybe multiple layers, which I feel like is how I answer a lot of things. . So who am I out in the world? I think at my core. , and this really translates to both my professional and my personal life. I'm someone who really thinks about other people and in work, that's my audience is, and at non-work, it's my personal audiences.

[00:01:28] Brooke Tully: I think about other people and I think about communication and how the ways in which we communicate impact those other people in our lives against audiences or the personal spheres around us. I've, these are things I've been thinking about really ever since I was a kid. And I think it embodies so much of what I do and has translated into the different paths of my career, whether it's been marketing or behavior change, communications or conservation work.

[00:01:58] Brooke Tully: And the combination of [00:02:00] all of them and how they all intersect into my current career. So I really, it, and I think in a nutshell, or in a, let's say LinkedIn, Title handle it. I go with behavior change marketer, but I've also used terms like communications expert or behavior change strategist. Something that really brings in that understanding of people and understanding of how communications impacts people.

[00:02:27] Jaymi Heimbuch: Yeah, I am fascinated with this realm. And when you say that you are someone who always thinks really deeply about communication and communication strategies, did you always also have this focus or interest in conservation or is that something that evolved as you started to study more deeply? Our communication strategies and the, the sheer level of impact that that could have,

[00:02:54] Brooke Tully: I would love to say it evolved. I think it more smacked me in the face the conservation [00:03:00] aspect of it all. So I really started professionally in commercial advertising. So thinking about. communications and audiences and the, the creativity that can exist around and in pursuit of all of those things.

[00:03:15] Brooke Tully: You know, and that's a, you know, it's a for-profit world. It's a corporate world. I did really love my work in advertising, but eventually felt like, why am I doing all of this? I sort of had that like quarter life crisis of, is this how I'm going to continue to use these skills, this interest, this passion?

[00:03:35] Brooke Tully: Or is there something bigger and better out there that I can use these skills towards? And that's when sort of, I, you know, conservation kind of hit me in the face cuz I didn't exactly know where I wanted to pursue or apply these skills towards. And it, it sort of emerged in a process of discovering what I care about, what I'm passionate about, or what else I'm passionate about.

[00:03:59] Brooke Tully: [00:04:00] I think from there though, it was an evolution of how do these worlds. intersect advertising, marketing, communications, creativity with conservation. And that's really where the topic of behavior change started to enter my, my sphere along with social marketing or community based social marketing behavior change, communications, all those different terms that essentially mean roughly the same thing.

[00:04:25] Brooke Tully: And it has been an evolution since making that transition to really understand the role that behavior change plays in conservation are the different roles it plays when is most appropriate, how to do it most appropriately, when is the communications and engagement part needed most? So it's, it's definitely been an evolution from there, leading me to really where I am.

[00:04:50] Jaymi Heimbuch: That's so interesting. I feel like your description of. The from the smack in the face to the evolution mirrors a lot of the [00:05:00] path of conservation photographers as well. Like we dive into nature photography wildlife photography, landscape, whatever it may be. We dive into the love we have about the camera.

[00:05:10] Jaymi Heimbuch: And then as we start to master that, it's sort of like, okay, but what am I really doing here? What am I really doing with this imagery? Is it just gonna sit on a hard drive? Is this really like the most that I could be doing with my work? And then there's the discovery of conservation photography and being able to do this impactful thing that feels fulfilling and purposeful and like it matters.

[00:05:32] Jaymi Heimbuch: And then there's the evolution of what it is that you do or how you shape your visual work from there. And I know that for a lot of my students in conservation photography 1 0 1, once they cross paths with me, what you do becomes familiar territory because I'm like audience, audience, audience, audience, audience.

[00:05:49] Brooke Tully: Yes,

[00:05:50] Jaymi Heimbuch: So then they really start to hear a lot more about what is it that you're trying to communicate, who are you communicating to, and how do you need to [00:06:00] create your visual stories to be able to make the most impact for who it is that needs to see that work the most. So I'm, so, I can't even tell you I'm beyond excited.

[00:06:11] Jaymi Heimbuch: This is like a little birthday present or something like level conversation for me because I'm so passionate about being not only engaged with the stories and excited and inspired about the stories you're telling, but also effective with them and bringing marketing skills into play to be effective.

[00:06:30] Jaymi Heimbuch: So I'm so excited. So I, I wanna mention. Your website, you have a really incredible headline and tagline that I wanna read. And so when we head to brook tole.com, it's create a conservation movement, use behavioral insights and communication strategies to protect the planet. So when you think about using behavioral insights and communication strategies to protect the the planet, like a lot of what comes to [00:07:00] mind is the word impact, right?

[00:07:01] Jaymi Heimbuch: What does the word impact really mean to you? Like when you think about having a conservation impact, how do you think about that playing out, like sort of in a large, like a 30,000 foot level perspective?

[00:07:16] Brooke Tully: Yeah. And this is one of those questions that certainly has many layers to it as well. You know, I mean the ultimate conservation impact, and I think this. Is across the board for any conservation related project is whether it is species protection, it's habitat protection, it's protection of natural resources.

[00:07:35] Brooke Tully: Are we actually keeping these species in places intact, healthy, thriving, best case scenario, growing, expanding. I know that's kind of hard to do but you know, co on in the terms of conservation impact best the North Star, right? It's like we need these natural re resources, you know, to [00:08:00] remain, to maintain them, to have them still here for as long as possible.

[00:08:04] Brooke Tully: In terms of like the human behavior relationship with that cuz conservation impact, there's so many things that impact that it. The weather. There could be something, if you're trying to keep a forest intact, there could be some strange, you know, fungal disease that affects the trees. And some of that's related to human behavior and some of it is not.

[00:08:24] Brooke Tully: So there's certainly layers of how we have impact on that goal. From the human behavior perspective, I like to think about impact, and this is another sort of North Star goal, is are we shifting social norms toward sustainability? And that's, you know, across the board, no matter what we're talking about, is it, are we moving that dial where the new status quo is one of sustainability?

[00:08:53] Brooke Tully: And that can be individuals, households, communities, businesses policies and regulations [00:09:00] is just having a new starting point, a new standard that. is now that way. Always moving forward until it needs to shift. You know, another way again cuz these things are always kind of moving targets. And then there's, you know, a million different ways to think about impact prior to that.

[00:09:18] Brooke Tully: You know, all the little milestones getting to that north star of new social norms.

[00:09:24] Jaymi Heimbuch: Mm-hmm. , , I feel like you really laid it out in a way that like visually, I can see that when you mentioned things like impactful things can be milestones, but ultimately impact means that there's this north star that we're always aiming toward. And are we really continuing for shifting globally across culture, across age, demographics, everything?

[00:09:47] Jaymi Heimbuch: Are we shifting. our status quo toward that north star for for impact. That makes so much sense the way that you laid it out.

[00:09:55] Brooke Tully: One I and I, I think we have to hold onto those smaller milestones along the way [00:10:00] just because I think otherwise as practitioners in this. . I mean, it's, it's not easy work and it's really easy to get dismayed and disenchanted and feeling like there's no hope. And I think one way to build, keep our resilience going and to keep our hopefulness intact, is by breaking down that north star into smaller milestones.

[00:10:24] Brooke Tully: And that can even be, you know, thinking about photography or behavior change messages at the smallest scale is how is that one message being received? Is it being received in the way that I intend positively? Is it getting good reactions? Okay, that's one point of impact. Now what's the next point of impact?

[00:10:43] Brooke Tully: And just to, to help us move along in the same way that we are helping our audiences move along from their transition from whatever they're doing now to a life of sustain.

[00:10:55] Jaymi Heimbuch: Yeah. Oh man. That brings up so much about also our [00:11:00] internal dialogue as conservationists, not only as maybe visual storytellers or conservationists working in indifferent spheres, but that internal conversation that we have in ourselves and. Mindset plays into this so much because we being able to step back and celebrate the milestones that you have, that not only milestones that you create as someone who's working toward impact, but also milestones that you personally have, and taking time to celebrate that I think is, you're right, such a huge part of continuing to move forward with Gusto, , you know, like being able to say, okay, I, I completed a story that that changed one person's mind, or I completed a story that is getting out into the world.

[00:11:47] Jaymi Heimbuch: Like I don't even need to celebrate yet what impact that has. I'm gonna celebrate the fact that I completed that. Or if you're working in a nonprofit, it's like, we're gonna celebrate the fact that we had a really great quarterly meeting and everyone has. [00:12:00] Action items to move forward with that can be a milestone to celebrate toward impact.

[00:12:05] Jaymi Heimbuch: And then from there you can celebrate, yay, we got a species on the endangered species lister. Yay. We did so much work that we got to remove a species from the lister, whatever that may be. But you're right, there's so many layers of milestones, of, of dialogue that we have, of communication we have with ourselves, let alone audiences or collaborators, whatever that may look like.

[00:12:27] Jaymi Heimbuch: I realized too, that I think I jumped into talking about what you do without talking yet about your business. Could you introduce us a bit to your business and what it is that you do on the daily?

[00:12:39] Brooke Tully: Sure. Yeah. Well, so the business is named after myself because I ran out of creative ideas for , what to name the business. So I said, okay, it's just gonna be me. And it is primarily a business of me. I do really three strands of work under sort of the Brook Tulley banner. One of it is I [00:13:00] deliver a online course called Making Moves.

[00:13:03] Brooke Tully: So that one does have a brand name. And Making Moves is an eight week live interactive online course where we really go through the process of. Designing an outreach strategy and plan that will help mobilize audiences to take action, change their behaviors, and even encourage other people to change their behaviors.

[00:13:25] Brooke Tully: I would say that's probably one of my flagship pieces of work in the business.

[00:13:29] Jaymi Heimbuch: Yeah. Oh, and by the way, I wanted to point out for anyone listening that it looks like that you're running that once this year. I'm on the wait list. I signed up for the wait list weeks and weeks ago. So it looks like you're running that once this year, starting April 10th. Is that right?

[00:13:45] Brooke Tully: That's right. So it'll go the week of April 10th through the, like last week of May. It's one lesson a week, so it's a L one live lesson. So at the bare minimum, that's the commitment is to come to the live lesson, although they're also all recorded. So if you don't make it, you [00:14:00] can always catch it later.

[00:14:01] Brooke Tully: And there's worksheets associated with each lesson that you can work on. throughout the course, you can send them to me to take a look at. We can book working sessions with me so we can have some one-on-one time. You know, cuz again, part of my real core mission is like really helping to build the capacity of practitioners, even folks who don't have a communications background or a marketing background to be able to make, you know, even sometimes like these kind of small shifts in how we communicate, how we message what we're doing that sees greater attraction, greater movement leading to that kind of larger conservation movement.

[00:14:38] Brooke Tully: So in that, in that vein of building capacity, the other strand of work I do is workshops. So it's, it's kind of similar to the online course, but it's a little bit more bespoke for organizations or agencies who are looking to have, or sometimes it's collaborative groups and coalitions to have everyone that they're working with [00:15:00] really build a, a shared foundation of.

[00:15:03] Brooke Tully: behavior change, understanding, thinking differently about how to craft messages and outreach plans. So we do, it's like a three to four hour workshop is one of my core products there. And in addition to all of that, I do some consulting work directly with a select group of, of clients. And so that's, I don't always am trying to aim on building capacity, but it's really supporting the strategy and development of behavior change programs.

[00:15:30] Jaymi Heimbuch: Got it. Thank you so much for, for taking us through that. I think that there's a lot of folks who are listeners who either work alongside nonprofits or are part of nonprofits or community organizations that would be really interested in that. So thanks for walking us through what you do. And I'm curious, as you are building or as you are guiding clients through the concept of.

[00:15:53] Jaymi Heimbuch: Communication strategies, messaging strategies, understanding audience designing, messaging and [00:16:00] all of that. How do you see visual storytelling coming into play or, or the importance of it or the presence of it, or the use of it in strategizing for effective messaging?

[00:16:14] Brooke Tully: I think it's absolutely critical. I mean, it's the visuals, whether it's, you know, visual storytelling are just like one single graphic image to me is. Make or break for a lot of these messages, a lot of these initiatives. As humans, we process visuals and images so much faster than we process. Or not even just process, but comprehend the meaning of before we even get to text and words.

[00:16:43] Brooke Tully: So it's the first thing we see and it's the first thing our brain tries to make sense of. And it's also as humans how we learn, you know, the most. I mean, that's, you know, from, you know, our evolution, we still like to see other people doing things in [00:17:00] order to learn how to do them. And therefore for me, I see that visual component as being so critical.

[00:17:08] Brooke Tully: And yet it still is often like the last piece that gets considered, right? It's, that is still that piece that's like, okay, we designed the message. Now what, you know, image, are we gonna slap onto it? You know, let's just pick from the hat and it needs to be embedded in. The strategy from the beginning because it really, it can do wonders to compliment, even build upon what the message is trying to say.

[00:17:34] Brooke Tully: It can also be incredibly detrimental to the message if it's not aligned with the strategy of what we're trying to say or what we're trying to communicate. So I do always, you know, in the course, I certainly, you know, talk about that quite a bit and with my clients as well, with the strategy. It's like, you know, what visuals are we using and how do we align that with what we know about humans and behavior [00:18:00] change.

[00:18:00] Jaymi Heimbuch: Right. Do you happen to have an example in mind of maybe a client that you've worked with where where finding really effective imagery helped to transform the messaging campaign or whatever it is they were working on? Or maybe one in which switching the imagery really changed things?

[00:18:21] Brooke Tully: Yeah, there's, I mean, I, I have to kind of scratch my brain to think about a specific example, but I can, I can think of some that have come up more recently, either through the course or through my clients. There is a group I've worked with on they, they specialize in whale conservation and historically a lot of the visual storytelling about whales are.

[00:18:49] Brooke Tully: Pretty scary, sad images of whales that are either dead, they've been struck by maybe the propeller or the hull of a ship, maybe a large ship, or [00:19:00] they're caught up in fishing lines and, you know, are not surviving or a struggling. And these are very sad, depressing images, typically with a call for taking action or making change.

[00:19:15] Brooke Tully: And there is, without a doubt, a time and a place for those images. You know, if I think about, you know, journalism and, you know, news you know, news storytelling, that's the truth. That's reality. And, and that needs to play a role in it. However, when we're talking about behavior change, communication and wanting to engage and empower, and inspire and mobilize people to take action, shifting to visuals of healthy, happy.

[00:19:48] Brooke Tully: Surviving, thriving whales is something that moves us even more. We can start to, you know, for better or worse anthropomorphize with the whales and say, oh look, they have, you know, a baby [00:20:00] just like my family. Or they're in pods just like us and, you know, I wanna contribute to keeping them happy, to keeping this, you know, species alive and thriving and having the space they need to move because they're so amazing and majestic.

[00:20:16] Brooke Tully: And this group actually, it is one of those examples that made the shift cuz so many of their visuals and their messages were in the doom and gloom and all hope is lost if we don't do something now pathway and shifting towards change is possible. We need your. , we wanna keep these whales, you know, having their best lives and this is how we do that.

[00:20:44] Brooke Tully: So making, and they they actually called it shifting their conservation playbook from doom and gloom to stories of like, hope and optimism and action. And that has, you know, really for them move the, shifted the momentum of [00:21:00] support. Cuz they were working on a, particularly a species of whales that is not overly charismatic.

[00:21:04] Brooke Tully: So it's not humpback, it's not orcas which tends to get all the attention. It was a little bit one of those lesser cool or lesser exciting whales. But it ac it did help really garner a lot more support and momentum among their audience because they just shifted that focus both in their messages and in their.

[00:21:22] Jaymi Heimbuch: Yeah. So much has come up for me as you were giving that example, one of which is the idea of how that really tra almost traumatic imagery, which is necessary to see, like we, like you said, there is a time and a place to see the reality of what's happening. That, that was really prevalent for a long time.

[00:21:44] Jaymi Heimbuch: But I think that people can also figure out how to. look away really quickly when they're not ready to deal with that, or it's too difficult or it leaves them also not really understanding how to make [00:22:00] change. And so then I think about the idea of Brian's scar's, secrets of the Whales that he was part of creating this just incredible body of work that focused on whale culture and what getting that imagery out to the world has been able to do for sparking hope and optimism and interest and support and so much else.

[00:22:23] Jaymi Heimbuch: For whales, for people to even consider a species that maybe they were like, oh yeah, I know that they exist, but now to consider them in a way where it's like, oh, maybe I relate to them. Maybe I now feel bonded to them, and that that can be so effective. Another thing that, that popped up for me while you were giving that really great example is the inside of a, uh, group that I'm in for conservation photographers. Someone posed the question of what do you think is. How did they phrase it? I think like what do you think is one mistake or what do you think is missing in media when it comes to [00:23:00] covering conservation issues?

[00:23:01] Jaymi Heimbuch: And what most people in the comments said was, there's never a way to help. They focus completely on the doom and gloom and what's going wrong with our planet. And there aren't stories of success or solutions. There aren't stories that say, here's the terrible things that are happening and now here are actions that you can take at home.

[00:23:21] Jaymi Heimbuch: And really helping people feel hopeful or empowered. And that that's something that it seems like a lot of people who are consuming media are craving. is that ability to say, okay, I know, I know, I know, I know. I've heard how terrible things are. Now I need to know is there hope and how can I contribute?

[00:23:43] Jaymi Heimbuch: Do you see, in all of the work that you've been doing for all this time and working with organizations, are you seeing a shift like that? Is that something that's coming up or is that something that's maybe always been there

[00:23:55] Brooke Tully: A shift towards hope or away from hope?

[00:23:58] Jaymi Heimbuch: a shift toward [00:24:00] audiences craving stories of, of hope or stories that provide solutions?

[00:24:06] Brooke Tully: Yeah, I mean, I, I think certainly, yes, there's definitely, and I, there's some great research out there. I wanna say it's from like the Yale Center for Climate Communications, maybe from pew Research Center. But I see more and more research out there that says, you know, people understand the issues. A growing percentage of people understand the issues, a growing percentage of people are concerned, whether it's climate, sustainability, conservation, you know, admittedly I think climate is higher on the list than those other topics.

[00:24:38] Brooke Tully: More and more people beyond our kind of core group of audiences that are always on board. Like there's a growing movement of concern. But with that, just like you pointed out, is this growing uncertainty of what one can do. And with that, because they haven't heard enough messages of what they can [00:25:00] do, people start to feel really concerned that there there isn't anything they can do.

[00:25:04] Brooke Tully: Or even that the things they can do maybe aren't big enough or impactful enough. And that's a shame. I mean, that's all of, that's an untapped audience to me where we can. Maybe get out of our own status quo or our own mode of raising awareness and shift to empowerment, hopefulness, and solutions. And without spending time on doom and gloom, without spending time on, you know, you have to read this, you know, 17 page research paper to understand the issue.

[00:25:37] Brooke Tully: It's like, let's get people towards the action. And I really, I, I think that really comes across in a lot of the stuff that I'm kind of teaching and building capacity in, is, you know, yes, understanding the issues and is, is important. Caring about these species is important. What we need to focus our attention on now is providing those pathways for doing [00:26:00] something.

[00:26:00] Brooke Tully: People are craving it. And you mentioned, you know, the feedback with journalists and what they could be doing. The same thing applies to nonprofit organizations, is more what we need more of is that, Clear I think I'll be repeating myself that clear pathway towards action and change. And, and you know, the proof and belief that that adds up.

[00:26:24] Brooke Tully: Even if it feels kind of small, you know, even if bringing my own bags to the grocery store feels like, could this possibly be making a difference? But, you know, furthering that validation and proof that actually it does make a difference cuz you're now one of, you know, a hundred thousand, a million people who are doing this and it adds up.

[00:26:42] Brooke Tully: So we need to, you know, and thinking about impact, being able to provide feedback on the impact to our audiences is also an important piece of that.

[00:26:51] Jaymi Heimbuch: Yeah. Gosh, that just makes me think about like how reinforcing it would be if on your receipt from the store, if you brought your [00:27:00] own bag, there's a little celebration message for you, a little reinforcement message for you or something, or

[00:27:05] Brooke Tully: Yeah. And actually in, in the course one of the sort of case studies that we sort of work on throughout, and it's, you know, a fictional case study, but we talk about bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, and one of the brainstorming activities in the chorus is what would make it even more special for the audience if they did the behavior, right?

[00:27:24] Brooke Tully: If they brought their reusable bags to the grocery store, how could we just make it even sweeter for them, you know, on their way out? You know, is it a as simple as a high five? Is it gold stickers? Is it something on the receipt? You know, and we're sort of in a, a playground where we have no budget and you know, like unlimited capacity.

[00:27:44] Brooke Tully: But some of these ideas are. , you know, either free or relatively inexpensive. And you think about that dose of validation for the audience member themselves and how it sets them up to repeat the behavior and even to then [00:28:00] tell other people about doing the behavior because we made them feel good. And that's another thing we don't do often enough in the work, is make people feel good for what they are doing, for what they're trying to do more of.

[00:28:12] Brooke Tully: Even if they're not, you know, perfect at it yet just continuing to say like, this is, like you're doing it and you're re-appreciate it and you know, go you and don't give up. You know, even if you have some setbacks, like keep going. And that sort of fun validation boost, I think is, is unfortunately really missing in a lot of.

[00:28:33] Jaymi Heimbuch: Yeah, and I think it's important, especially nowadays when we have so many tools at our disposal to be able to make. Living life more interactive. I can see visual storytelling, what we do as conservation photographers also potentially becoming more interactive as the visual storytelling is put to use by campaigns or put to use by an organization and be able to make things more interactive, more [00:29:00] reinforcing, whether that's in an app or on a website or whatever it might be.

[00:29:04] Jaymi Heimbuch: There's, there's just so much potential out there. But earlier you said something that I think is really, really important that I would love to dig into, which is as we move and we need to move beyond our core audience, who's always on board to audiences who are now more and more aware, and as we shift past awareness, we need to move into, and here's what you can do, here's how you can take part, here's hope.

[00:29:26] Jaymi Heimbuch: Here are our solutions. And one of the big things that I talk about with my students in conservation photography 1 0 1, as they're shaping the stories that they wanna tell visually, I always talk about. Who is the audience first, what action do you wanna have? Come out of a story As you're creating a story, there's a purpose behind that story.

[00:29:47] Jaymi Heimbuch: There's something that you wanna achieve. By creating that story beyond the sheer joy of creating it, or the feeling of of passion or purpose you have behind it. There's a reason you're creating it. And it's usually because there's an action. [00:30:00] There's a something that you want the people who see it to perform.

[00:30:03] Jaymi Heimbuch: So then who is the audience that you need to get that story in front of? And then how do we wanna shape a story in a way that is. Interesting, attractive, appealing to that audience so that they stop and really pay attention and engage with it and feel compelled. And in fact, I did an entire episode on the three A's action audience and artifact.

[00:30:24] Jaymi Heimbuch: It's episode 21. So when you are inside of the, the workshop or when you are working with one of your clients and you're thinking about audience, can you start to help us understand more clearly? What is an audience and how do you start to understand an audience that you need to get toward? And you can keep this at 30,000 feet.

[00:30:48] Jaymi Heimbuch: You can get into the weeds however you wanna approach this. But what's an audience and how do you understand the audience that you need to get in front of for a message?

[00:30:56] Brooke Tully: Yeah. That's a great question. And I love talking about [00:31:00] audiences, obviously. One of the. I'm gonna say frameworks, and I'm not sure framework is the exact right term for this, but one of the frameworks I like to use to help think about audiences is the diffusion of innovation theory. And this essentially describes how technology ideas and has been applied to behaviors spread across a community.

[00:31:23] Brooke Tully: And that's, it's left really loose. So community is defined by you, small, large, global, local, you know, so there's not a set definition of community. And it follows you sort of a standard deviation, bell curve approach. But it talks about these different segments in terms of how quickly they adopt something new and what they need in order to adopt something new.

[00:31:50] Brooke Tully: And the first two segments of that are, you know, innovators and early adopters. And to me, that's the group that falls into our core audience. That's the group [00:32:00] that you know, back to your example of the feedback on what is, what are journalists missing in their visual storytelling? That's a group that is propelled forward by images of, that may not be pleasant to look at.

[00:32:16] Brooke Tully: They're not turning away from it. They are leaning into that because they're likely to be, you know, animal welfare, ac activists or supporters. So they see an image of an animal that's in, in stress or in dire need. Boom, they're taking action. They don't need much because they're already built to take an action or change their behaviors based on, you know, really some kind of high level information.

[00:32:42] Brooke Tully: And we've fall into this camp too, as you know, conservationists. Like, oh, plastic straws are bad for the ocean. That's all I need to hear. They're outta my life forever. Like, it doesn't take much to convince us. After that group is a lot, much larger segment that's called the early majority. And [00:33:00] these are folks that are motivated for different reasons.

[00:33:04] Brooke Tully: And a lot of times that's, you know, maybe they want to see a path towards action. They just haven't seen it yet. And that's what propels them. Typically, it's, they need to see other people doing it, know that there's sort of a social movement that's starting. It doesn't have to be totally adopted by the social movement yet, but they see it starting.

[00:33:24] Brooke Tully: They feel that momentum of, you know, people are starting to bring their own bags to the grocery store or starting to go to climate protests. They need to feel like there's something in it for them that they get out of it. And they usually also need to feel that it's somewhat socially safe to do that.

[00:33:41] Brooke Tully: They're not, they're not leading the pack, right. They're not really interested in leading the pack, but they wanna be a few folks behind those leaders. . And so when thinking about audiences, I think the default is let's talk to our core group because they're our core group and we know that we're going to get reactions and likes and petition [00:34:00] signatures.

[00:34:01] Brooke Tully: What I try to push everyone towards is what's that next group? Who are those folks after the core audience? Because they're probably really willing to do something. We're just not talking to them in a way that resonates with them yet. And so it's, it's typically how I try to phrase it is, you know, who's already doing the behavior, who's next and who's most likely to do it next?

[00:34:26] Brooke Tully: You know, low hanging fruit is a totally viable audience strategy. This is a group of folks who will do it. They just need to get prompted and motivated to do it, and we shouldn't leave them behind. They're probably on the fence. They might even be a little, you know, like, meh, about the whole thing.

[00:34:44] Brooke Tully: that's a, a great audience opportunity. A a at the risk of going too long on this topic, I'll just add one more thing is I, I also used a term that I adopted from Seth Godin, who's sort of a marketing guru of minimum viable audience.

[00:34:59] Jaymi Heimbuch: [00:35:00] Mm-hmm.

[00:35:00] Brooke Tully: Move away from general public. Everyone who's that core group that we can start to see change among, we can start to have an impact with, and it doesn't have to be a huge group.

[00:35:13] Brooke Tully: What's that small, the minimum viable audience to start to see change, to affect change among, let's start there. It's okay to start there cuz from there we can scale up, we can see what's working, what's not working, and then go bigger from there as opposed to stretching ourselves maybe too thin across this sort of large, you know undefined group, like general public.

[00:35:39] Jaymi Heimbuch: That is incredibly helpful to think about. So often as we're, you know, for the folks who are kind of deep inside of conservation, visual storytelling or conservation work, we're thinking about how do we get beyond the choir? And I think you gave us a really clear understanding of who it is that is just beyond that choir and [00:36:00] how.

[00:36:00] Jaymi Heimbuch: Important it is to really figure out how to get in front of them. There's three books. I'm just gonna throw out some titles inside the show notes. There's gonna be links to all the resources that we talk about, Brooke's website, her class any books that we mentioned, that sort of thing. So scroll down to the show notes and define those links.

[00:36:17] Jaymi Heimbuch: But as you were talking, there's three book titles that came up for me that I wanna throw out there and reference as further research. And then I have a big question for you, . So the, the three titles are Malcolm Gladwell's. The Tipping Point is really great information to dive into Jonah Burger's Contagious, how or Why Things Catch On.

[00:36:36] Jaymi Heimbuch: That's a really great book to dive into. And the third one is Seth Godin's. This is Marketing. So Seth Godin has so many books out there, but I really enjoyed this is marketing as a way to kind of get all of these little com components and that minimum viable audience and so much of what you talked about.

[00:36:52] Jaymi Heimbuch: So for anyone interested in digging deeper, those are three resources when you're talking with clients about audience [00:37:00] strategy and explaining things like where we're looking for audiences and, and how we wanna really get in front of people and how we understand them.

[00:37:09] Jaymi Heimbuch: What are a couple of the pitfalls in maybe gaps in understanding or Pitfalls in thinking that organizations have to overcome to really grasp who it is that they wanna get messages in front of,

[00:37:25] Brooke Tully: Yeah, I mean, I think one challenge is the fact that many. organizations haven't really pushed themselves past that core audience previously. So it sort of feels like this whole unknown universe. So we, we have our email subscribers, we have our social media followers, we have our, our loyal group. Who else is out there?

[00:37:47] Brooke Tully: You know, and it's just this like, big question of who would be interested in this topic that isn't already signed up? We don't know. And that's a big gap, is not kind of keeping their finger on the [00:38:00] pulse of interests. And I often use like market research to help fill that gap. I mean, there's so many organizations that pull together amazing consumer trend reports that at the very least are like tangentially related to whatever conservation topic is out there.

[00:38:18] Brooke Tully: And it could be some of these reports of how concerned people are and who is the most concerned. And these reports are amazing at. creating audience segmentations and profiles and giving a sense of which groups are most concerned, which groups are not concerned at all, which maybe will save them for later down the road.

[00:38:37] Brooke Tully: And that can be a great starting point for potentially either just working with that data and moving forward, or as a jumping off point to do your own research on who might be the audience segments we need to reach next. I've seen related to that, and this has come up a number of times with clients, is [00:39:00] there's not yet a comfort level with reaching the younger generations.

[00:39:06] Jaymi Heimbuch: Mm.

[00:39:06] Brooke Tully: Right. A lot of folks who are in that core group in the choir are getting older as people do. It happens. Right? And the generations have kind of moved forward that there hasn't been a lot of energy put into understanding the millennial audience and. Very much the Gen Z audience. And that gap, I think, leaves those organizations a little bit, you know, on their heels or kind of, you know falling behind because what those generations are looking for and what they need is very different than what they've been doing historically with messaging, communication events.

[00:39:48] Brooke Tully: You know, all, even like the kinds of actions people can take. They're just, I, I think they've fallen so comfortable talking to one audience that they don't really know how to [00:40:00] diversify to different audiences. So that's definitely a, a pitfall there. And I would add, this is sort of related to my other point, that I think there's so much value in just keeping track of consumer trends nationally and globally overall because, again, even if it's about car purchases or package good beha buying behaviors.

[00:40:22] Brooke Tully: It indicates to us some of these shifting expectations that consumers have and those shifting expectations impact every single sector out there, including, you know, charitable causes, nonprofit organizations advocacy missions is what are the shifting expectations that people have when engaging with a topic, with an entity, and how can we meet more of those expectations so that someone doesn't hit our website and says, oh, this isn't for me.

[00:40:53] Brooke Tully: Or, read a description of our event. It says, Nope, you know, this doesn't sound like I'm going to feel [00:41:00] included in it. So kind of keeping our head on that, like our heads, keeping our eyes on that shifting landscape of consumers globally will help us be more agile so we can. ebb and flow and adapt based on what all of our audiences are doing.

[00:41:19] Jaymi Heimbuch: Mm-hmm. . Oh, that is so helpful. I'm curious if you have insights for us specifically as visual storytellers, as photographers, as we think about shaping our stories and messages, whether that is alongside an organization that is figuring out their messaging and trying to get in in front of other audiences or understanding their audiences better.

[00:41:43] Jaymi Heimbuch: Or as we're doing this independently as our own just fun visual storytelling work that we're like passionate about an issue that we wanna get out there into the world that we're working independently on. Do you have any tips or advice for us as we think about shaping [00:42:00] stories to try and make sure that we get that impact out of it?

[00:42:04] Brooke Tully: Yeah, certainly. And, and I think my first sort of tip comes back to something we talked about earlier. In terms of the role of visual storytelling and behavior change, and it's the opportunity to feature more people you know, we do learn best by seeing other people doing something. So, you know, certainly we, we love our species and we love our natural resources and our habitats that we can take pictures of and, and we shouldn't ever lose that.

[00:42:35] Brooke Tully: So I'm not saying like, throw that stuff away, only show people. But I think complimenting that with showing images of individuals, households, communities who are taking action helps to define what action looks like or what action can look like. It helps to mirror that for our audience. [00:43:00] And again, it sort of, makes the behavior action safer for the audience cuz they see, oh, that's what it looks like.

[00:43:08] Brooke Tully: There's other people who do who are doing that. And that means I can probably do it too. It also instills that sense of hope or like you said before, like a lot of people feel like I don't know what to do. Or is there, there's even a good amount of cynicism out there? Is there anything we can do? So by showing those images of people and people taking action or demonstrating that desired behavior will, I think greatly compliment the oth other visuals of species and habitats and create greater impact.

[00:43:39] Brooke Tully: I would say with that as well, and this really I think, kind of falls into storytelling is, it's something I've been thinking about a lot this last year, is how do we tell that future story tell a more positive. I'm gonna say happy ending. But I think I, I don't want to say that like [00:44:00] naively, but what are we working towards?

[00:44:02] Brooke Tully: Like what would good look like if we are successful at mobilizing more action and change? Can we paint that picture even if it's, you know, an illustrated picture of what the opposite of apocalypse looks like for us and, you know, what does good look like? What, what are we working towards? And again, that's all part of that sort of hope and optimism initiative of saying, you know, these little things do add up and this is what shifting.

[00:44:32] Brooke Tully: I'm gonna just make up examples to all electric can mean in terms of, you know, cleaner air, clearer skies in 50 years if we all take action. And I think there's just been so much, especially like science fiction and fictional storytelling of the future that is, Leaves us and even leaves me feeling pretty hopeless.

[00:44:53] Brooke Tully: Like everyone who imagined the future, just imagine no animals left and like no green spaces [00:45:00] like it is. Can we do better? And what is the, what does it look like to do better? I, and I also wanna, I've been doing some research on trends, consumer trends lately, cuz it's the start of the year and all these consumer trends are coming out.

[00:45:12] Brooke Tully: And I haven't been diving deeply into it yet cause I'm kind of touching on all the topics at the surface level. But it seems like there's a movement happening around joy and it's really sort of, I think in reaction to so much of the news that we've been having in the last few years, the pandemic, everything that people are seeking joy.

[00:45:36] Brooke Tully: And this is coming into like social media posts events and activities, experiences and what it means to. not be in this world of like, it's all falling apart, which is basically what it feels like when you hit any news outlet. Like, oh, it's all falling apart, is, you know, seeking joy. And I think that there's something interesting to explore in that, [00:46:00] in visual storytelling is how do we, what's the opportunity to kind of evoke a sense of joy or provide a sense of joy, even when we're talking about some hard topics like conservation or needing, needing to save species.

[00:46:14] Brooke Tully: So I think that's something definitely worth digging into more, although I haven't yet dug into it.

[00:46:21] Jaymi Heimbuch: I, there's so much coming up for me. As you were talking about the idea, I think that you are hitting the nail on the head of an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to the idea of painting a picture. Like in marketing we call it future pacing, or we can call it you know, in business it's like paint what done looks like so that everyone's on board with what we're, what we're working toward, and what that goal is.

[00:46:45] Jaymi Heimbuch: If you're kind of on more of the spiritual side, it's, you know, affirmations, what are, what's your vision board? But I think that all of it leads back to. Just what, what you were saying, what is it that we're working toward? Not what are we running away [00:47:00] from, but what are we working toward? It's two different ways of thinking about like, are we struggling to stave off an inevitable or terrifying future?

[00:47:12] Jaymi Heimbuch: Or are we working toward in this like, sometimes really tough but diligent way with joy toward a clear. Solution that we want. And it's sort of like that, that whole idea of keeping your North star, keeping your why, painting that picture of like, here's what done could look like. Isn't that incredible?

[00:47:33] Jaymi Heimbuch: Like that is what gets me up in the morning versus like, oh my God, I gotta get up today and do something for this planet that is slowly dying . Like it's a totally different approach

[00:47:43] Brooke Tully: Well, and I feel that, you know, so many places, I'm gonna say places, probably mainly nonprofits, and government agencies working on this issue are in the reactive seat. They're just reacting to the crisis of the day. Or [00:48:00] you know, the loud, you know, hater, you know, on social media. And some of that is due, you know, to capacity constraints, you know, financial resources, staffing resources.

[00:48:11] Brooke Tully: And you know, we can't, we can only do so much when we don't have resources on our side. But we can get stuck there. We can get stuck in reactive mode and feel like that's our job. Our job is to react. Yet there's also a path where our job is to chart that way forward. And like you said, paint that picture.

[00:48:34] Brooke Tully: And, and what's got me, you know, on this thought last year is I read some article about how sci-fi writers and stories actually shaped a lot of the inventions we have today. You know, and you think about someone young watching Star Wars or Star Trek or reading other sci-fi books that I can't think of.

[00:48:54] Brooke Tully: Like, you know, the Metaverse is part of this, right? You read Snow Crash and [00:49:00] you are inspired by it, you're influenced by it. And then you take a career path and engineering or something super technical like that, you're like, oh, maybe I'll create the Metaverse, right? Because you've read about it as a child and it moved you.

[00:49:13] Brooke Tully: And we're actually, in some ways, those science fiction stories shape our reality today, right? But if all those science fiction, story science fiction stories are not really painting many favorable pictures about, you know, our flora and fauna, then where does that leave us? Does it leave us in some ways not even thinking about, not even assuming that any of that can last, that any of it will be there in the future.

[00:49:45] Brooke Tully: But if we can paint different stories in groups like solar punk are doing some things like this where they're probably still compromise cuz you know, humans are still here and we still have an impact on the planet, but what does great look [00:50:00] like? Not even good enough. What in great look like if we put all of our resources and powers and minds together and not assume that it's not, that these resources aren't going to be there down the road.

[00:50:13] Brooke Tully: That we can have technology and nature together. And I think we need just more of those, those inspirations. Not only to help us, we started with kind of talking about like our inner voices. Cause I think that would help us a great deal, but also then something we can share and communicate with our audiences for why all these, you know, little things do add up to something that we can work together to achieve.

[00:50:42] Jaymi Heimbuch: Yeah. Ah, that was so well said. That like that

[00:50:46] Brooke Tully: definitely a rant. Sorry,

[00:50:48] Jaymi Heimbuch: I love it. I love it. And I mean, just what you just said alone makes me feel inspired about an approach to visual storytelling that goes beyond documenting what is, [00:51:00] and then also digs into Helping to visualize possibility, helping to visualize what we want to achieve and and what we're hoping for, and to be able to say that is why we're talking about this change.

[00:51:15] Jaymi Heimbuch: Not that this terrible thing is happening and that yes, there are ways that we can change that path, but like what does it look like if we achieve that? And to have that inspiration, like just as a visual storyteller, I'm now, my mind is churning with possibilities and I think it's really critical As photographers, you know, we focus so much on creating imagery, whether that is documenting what's happening or creating really artistic impressions of ideas and concepts, but we focus on creating imagery. inspires that moves people, that grabs attention. But in conservation photography, it's about that. And what do we do with those images to really move the needle to make an impact? And how do we [00:52:00] take an image that we put so much time and energy in crafting and creating and put it to work more than once again and again and again, and really have it have maximum impact?

[00:52:11] Jaymi Heimbuch: One of the things that I know we can do is to take your course making moves. I'm on the wait list for it. I cannot wait. I'm gonna be like trying to be first in line when doors open to be, to make sure that I actually get in on this. One of the things I think is really genuinely taking your course and understanding deeply.

[00:52:30] Jaymi Heimbuch: Audience, um, consumer behavior crafting, messaging, all of that behind it. Do you have other resources that you recommend? Like if someone is listening to this episode and they're like, I wanna do something today, right now, to kind of ride this wave of inspiration, do you have anything that you could recommend?

[00:52:51] Brooke Tully: Oh, great question. I, I'll include a few uh, self selfish and selfless. Not selfish. Selfless selfish [00:53:00] plugs. I, if you are not interested in waiting for the course, I do have sort of an on-demand short course on the website that's available. It's called Messages That Motivate. It is 55 bucks and it's like seven videos and you have access to it for life, along with worksheets.

[00:53:16] Brooke Tully: That's a great way to like get started right away. I'm certainly a, a biased fan of my newsletter. So if you wanted to sign up for that I, you know, it goes out twice a month and I try to make them all pretty useful in terms of planting a seed of an idea in terms of how to understand our audiences, how to communicate with them you know, how to achieve these conservation movements that I love talking about.

[00:53:41] Brooke Tully: I think certainly tapping into the books that you recommended is, you know, all of them give great suggestions for something you can do. I, I would add to that the book Switch by Dan and Chip Heath. Really gets into methods for changing behaviors and they have sort of a formula in there, very [00:54:00] simplified but useful formula in there.

[00:54:02] Brooke Tully: So I think that can get folks started. And certainly, you know, it, this is easier said than done, but I think what's really helpful is anytime you're about to put out some communication piece out into the world, is just to take that pause before you click post or send to say, you know, who am I sending this to?

[00:54:25] Brooke Tully: Or who am I sharing this with? What else might they need to hear from me to feel motivated by this? What additional instructions might they need to help them follow through on the thing that I want them to follow through on? You know, what else can I give in this moment to help my audience? do the thing I'm hoping that they'll do.

[00:54:47] Brooke Tully: And that, I mean those answers again, they might not always be there. You might not always know, but I think kind of building the habit of taking the pause is one of the most helpful things to do cuz it just [00:55:00] shifts us a little bit out of our, this is what I wanna say, mode to what do they need to hear mode or in photography it could be what do they need to see mode.

[00:55:09] Brooke Tully: I know changing images is not as easily done as changing text. But still that sort of mindset of it's not about me, it's about them.

[00:55:18] Jaymi Heimbuch: Mm-hmm. Ah, thank you so much for those resources and really that beyond a resource kind of. New way of thinking about everything that we put out in the world. That pause that is so important and that can dramatically change. Just taking that pause and thinking, have I been clear enough? I, I gave all the message in this maybe social media caption, but have I given someone that next step that they can take?

[00:55:44] Jaymi Heimbuch: Have I done the job of providing a call to action that someone now feels motivated and now they know what to do and really like making that ingrained in what we do? Thank you for that big, big important reminder and thank you for everything that you do for being someone [00:56:00] who's teaching us all about this critically important stuff.

[00:56:03] Jaymi Heimbuch: And I think that it can feel really overwhelming for conservationists and, and photographers to think about messaging and audience and all this stuff. They're like, oh my God, I gotta go get a degree in marketing and that doesn't interest me at all. I don't wanna deal with any of that. I don't wanna deal with blah, blah blah.

[00:56:18] Jaymi Heimbuch: And you're someone who is basically saying, this is really interesting. Safe. Cool territory to dig into and presenting it in a way that we all can understand and see how we can utilize it inside the niche that we're working in. So thank you so much for the time and energy you've put into this.

[00:56:36] Brooke Tully: my pleasure. I, I love it. It fulfills me. And you know, I definitely feel like, you know, part of my role here is to take whatever's in my brain of how I know how to do this stuff and try to put it out there so everyone can use these tools. And, and I think, you know, part of our innate way of being as conservationists is, you know, we focus on being experts.

[00:56:57] Brooke Tully: And I certainly want everyone coming into [00:57:00] the course and the workshops to feel like you can actually use these tools that yes, experts created, but you don't have to be an expert in you can apply them, not try to make it as, you know practical as possible. So that, , everyone can apply it without feeling like I have to get a degree in this or, you know, I have to go down the rabbit hole of, of marketing all of a sudden, or even down the rabbit hole of behavioral economics.

[00:57:25] Brooke Tully: You know, if, if we can make it, if we can bridge that gap between the academia theory side and the practitioners side, I think that's a really big win that we haven't yet achieved. But making all of these tools available and user friendly can get them in more hands.

[00:57:42] Jaymi Heimbuch: Mm-hmm. . That'll be a milestone to celebrate. Right.

[00:57:45] Brooke Tully: For real. Yeah.

[00:57:48] Jaymi Heimbuch: Well, Brooke, I am, and for everyone listening, I'm linking to Making Moves course. I'm linking to the messages that Motivate Course, which is the on demand course linking to all the books that we [00:58:00] mentioned in the show notes. So wherever you're listening to this podcast, you can scroll down and see links to all of those things.

[00:58:06] Jaymi Heimbuch: Brooke, thank you so much for being here and, and talking with us today. It's been such a joy.

[00:58:13] Brooke Tully: Aw. Jamie, thank you so much for inviting me to be on here. I'd love to come back if you ever want me to rant again. But it's been just a, a pleasure to have this conversation with you. And I certainly enjoy listening to your podcast episodes as well, so I'm, I'm happy to be in the mix of that

[00:58:28] Jaymi Heimbuch: Oh, that's so you just opened up a dangerous door for yourself because Yes. I would love to have you back on the podcast again,

[00:58:35] Brooke Tully: All right, anytime

[00:58:36] Jaymi Heimbuch: Wonderful. Well, everyone, thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you again next week.

E 133 Brooke Tully
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[00:00:00] Jaymi Heimbuch: All right. Welcome to this episode of Impact, the Conservation Photography podcast. And we have a guest today that I'm very excited about because we're gonna nerd out on topics that I really love nerding out about, that when you are a conservation photographer, there are things that we need to think deeply about, but often we're so focused on the actual visuals, the photography of what we're doing, that we forget to think about some of these other elements.

[00:00:26] Jaymi Heimbuch: So we have an expert here today to talk about these elements like impact and communication styles and audience, and so much more. So welcome to the show, Brooke Toley.

[00:00:39] Brooke Tully: Hi Jamie. Thank you so much for having me. It's great to be here and I love when an intro starts with nerding. Ouch. Cuz like I'm so game for that.

[00:00:48] Jaymi Heimbuch: Well, wonderful. So we've got a whole lot that I'm excited to cover with you today, but I always start out my interviews the same way, which is, who is Brooke in the world?[00:01:00]

[00:01:00] Brooke Tully: Yeah, that feels like a giant question. But I will, I'll try to answer it in maybe multiple layers, which I feel like is how I answer a lot of things. . So who am I out in the world? I think at my core. , and this really translates to both my professional and my personal life. I'm someone who really thinks about other people and in work, that's my audience is, and at non-work, it's my personal audiences.

[00:01:28] Brooke Tully: I think about other people and I think about communication and how the ways in which we communicate impact those other people in our lives against audiences or the personal spheres around us. I've, these are things I've been thinking about really ever since I was a kid. And I think it embodies so much of what I do and has translated into the different paths of my career, whether it's been marketing or behavior change, communications or conservation work.

[00:01:58] Brooke Tully: And the combination of [00:02:00] all of them and how they all intersect into my current career. So I really, it, and I think in a nutshell, or in a, let's say LinkedIn, Title handle it. I go with behavior change marketer, but I've also used terms like communications expert or behavior change strategist. Something that really brings in that understanding of people and understanding of how communications impacts people.

[00:02:27] Jaymi Heimbuch: Yeah, I am fascinated with this realm. And when you say that you are someone who always thinks really deeply about communication and communication strategies, did you always also have this focus or interest in conservation or is that something that evolved as you started to study more deeply? Our communication strategies and the, the sheer level of impact that that could have,

[00:02:54] Brooke Tully: I would love to say it evolved. I think it more smacked me in the face the conservation [00:03:00] aspect of it all. So I really started professionally in commercial advertising. So thinking about. communications and audiences and the, the creativity that can exist around and in pursuit of all of those things.

[00:03:15] Brooke Tully: You know, and that's a, you know, it's a for-profit world. It's a corporate world. I did really love my work in advertising, but eventually felt like, why am I doing all of this? I sort of had that like quarter life crisis of, is this how I'm going to continue to use these skills, this interest, this passion?

[00:03:35] Brooke Tully: Or is there something bigger and better out there that I can use these skills towards? And that's when sort of, I, you know, conservation kind of hit me in the face cuz I didn't exactly know where I wanted to pursue or apply these skills towards. And it, it sort of emerged in a process of discovering what I care about, what I'm passionate about, or what else I'm passionate about.

[00:03:59] Brooke Tully: [00:04:00] I think from there though, it was an evolution of how do these worlds. intersect advertising, marketing, communications, creativity with conservation. And that's really where the topic of behavior change started to enter my, my sphere along with social marketing or community based social marketing behavior change, communications, all those different terms that essentially mean roughly the same thing.

[00:04:25] Brooke Tully: And it has been an evolution since making that transition to really understand the role that behavior change plays in conservation are the different roles it plays when is most appropriate, how to do it most appropriately, when is the communications and engagement part needed most? So it's, it's definitely been an evolution from there, leading me to really where I am.

[00:04:50] Jaymi Heimbuch: That's so interesting. I feel like your description of. The from the smack in the face to the evolution mirrors a lot of the [00:05:00] path of conservation photographers as well. Like we dive into nature photography wildlife photography, landscape, whatever it may be. We dive into the love we have about the camera.

[00:05:10] Jaymi Heimbuch: And then as we start to master that, it's sort of like, okay, but what am I really doing here? What am I really doing with this imagery? Is it just gonna sit on a hard drive? Is this really like the most that I could be doing with my work? And then there's the discovery of conservation photography and being able to do this impactful thing that feels fulfilling and purposeful and like it matters.

[00:05:32] Jaymi Heimbuch: And then there's the evolution of what it is that you do or how you shape your visual work from there. And I know that for a lot of my students in conservation photography 1 0 1, once they cross paths with me, what you do becomes familiar territory because I'm like audience, audience, audience, audience, audience.

[00:05:49] Brooke Tully: Yes,

[00:05:50] Jaymi Heimbuch: So then they really start to hear a lot more about what is it that you're trying to communicate, who are you communicating to, and how do you need to [00:06:00] create your visual stories to be able to make the most impact for who it is that needs to see that work the most. So I'm, so, I can't even tell you I'm beyond excited.

[00:06:11] Jaymi Heimbuch: This is like a little birthday present or something like level conversation for me because I'm so passionate about being not only engaged with the stories and excited and inspired about the stories you're telling, but also effective with them and bringing marketing skills into play to be effective.

[00:06:30] Jaymi Heimbuch: So I'm so excited. So I, I wanna mention. Your website, you have a really incredible headline and tagline that I wanna read. And so when we head to brook tole.com, it's create a conservation movement, use behavioral insights and communication strategies to protect the planet. So when you think about using behavioral insights and communication strategies to protect the the planet, like a lot of what comes to [00:07:00] mind is the word impact, right?

[00:07:01] Jaymi Heimbuch: What does the word impact really mean to you? Like when you think about having a conservation impact, how do you think about that playing out, like sort of in a large, like a 30,000 foot level perspective?

[00:07:16] Brooke Tully: Yeah. And this is one of those questions that certainly has many layers to it as well. You know, I mean the ultimate conservation impact, and I think this. Is across the board for any conservation related project is whether it is species protection, it's habitat protection, it's protection of natural resources.

[00:07:35] Brooke Tully: Are we actually keeping these species in places intact, healthy, thriving, best case scenario, growing, expanding. I know that's kind of hard to do but you know, co on in the terms of conservation impact best the North Star, right? It's like we need these natural re resources, you know, to [00:08:00] remain, to maintain them, to have them still here for as long as possible.

[00:08:04] Brooke Tully: In terms of like the human behavior relationship with that cuz conservation impact, there's so many things that impact that it. The weather. There could be something, if you're trying to keep a forest intact, there could be some strange, you know, fungal disease that affects the trees. And some of that's related to human behavior and some of it is not.

[00:08:24] Brooke Tully: So there's certainly layers of how we have impact on that goal. From the human behavior perspective, I like to think about impact, and this is another sort of North Star goal, is are we shifting social norms toward sustainability? And that's, you know, across the board, no matter what we're talking about, is it, are we moving that dial where the new status quo is one of sustainability?

[00:08:53] Brooke Tully: And that can be individuals, households, communities, businesses policies and regulations [00:09:00] is just having a new starting point, a new standard that. is now that way. Always moving forward until it needs to shift. You know, another way again cuz these things are always kind of moving targets. And then there's, you know, a million different ways to think about impact prior to that.

[00:09:18] Brooke Tully: You know, all the little milestones getting to that north star of new social norms.

[00:09:24] Jaymi Heimbuch: Mm-hmm. , , I feel like you really laid it out in a way that like visually, I can see that when you mentioned things like impactful things can be milestones, but ultimately impact means that there's this north star that we're always aiming toward. And are we really continuing for shifting globally across culture, across age, demographics, everything?

[00:09:47] Jaymi Heimbuch: Are we shifting. our status quo toward that north star for for impact. That makes so much sense the way that you laid it out.

[00:09:55] Brooke Tully: One I and I, I think we have to hold onto those smaller milestones along the way [00:10:00] just because I think otherwise as practitioners in this. . I mean, it's, it's not easy work and it's really easy to get dismayed and disenchanted and feeling like there's no hope. And I think one way to build, keep our resilience going and to keep our hopefulness intact, is by breaking down that north star into smaller milestones.

[00:10:24] Brooke Tully: And that can even be, you know, thinking about photography or behavior change messages at the smallest scale is how is that one message being received? Is it being received in the way that I intend positively? Is it getting good reactions? Okay, that's one point of impact. Now what's the next point of impact?

[00:10:43] Brooke Tully: And just to, to help us move along in the same way that we are helping our audiences move along from their transition from whatever they're doing now to a life of sustain.

[00:10:55] Jaymi Heimbuch: Yeah. Oh man. That brings up so much about also our [00:11:00] internal dialogue as conservationists, not only as maybe visual storytellers or conservationists working in indifferent spheres, but that internal conversation that we have in ourselves and. Mindset plays into this so much because we being able to step back and celebrate the milestones that you have, that not only milestones that you create as someone who's working toward impact, but also milestones that you personally have, and taking time to celebrate that I think is, you're right, such a huge part of continuing to move forward with Gusto, , you know, like being able to say, okay, I, I completed a story that that changed one person's mind, or I completed a story that is getting out into the world.

[00:11:47] Jaymi Heimbuch: Like I don't even need to celebrate yet what impact that has. I'm gonna celebrate the fact that I completed that. Or if you're working in a nonprofit, it's like, we're gonna celebrate the fact that we had a really great quarterly meeting and everyone has. [00:12:00] Action items to move forward with that can be a milestone to celebrate toward impact.

[00:12:05] Jaymi Heimbuch: And then from there you can celebrate, yay, we got a species on the endangered species lister. Yay. We did so much work that we got to remove a species from the lister, whatever that may be. But you're right, there's so many layers of milestones, of, of dialogue that we have, of communication we have with ourselves, let alone audiences or collaborators, whatever that may look like.

[00:12:27] Jaymi Heimbuch: I realized too, that I think I jumped into talking about what you do without talking yet about your business. Could you introduce us a bit to your business and what it is that you do on the daily?

[00:12:39] Brooke Tully: Sure. Yeah. Well, so the business is named after myself because I ran out of creative ideas for , what to name the business. So I said, okay, it's just gonna be me. And it is primarily a business of me. I do really three strands of work under sort of the Brook Tulley banner. One of it is I [00:13:00] deliver a online course called Making Moves.

[00:13:03] Brooke Tully: So that one does have a brand name. And Making Moves is an eight week live interactive online course where we really go through the process of. Designing an outreach strategy and plan that will help mobilize audiences to take action, change their behaviors, and even encourage other people to change their behaviors.

[00:13:25] Brooke Tully: I would say that's probably one of my flagship pieces of work in the business.

[00:13:29] Jaymi Heimbuch: Yeah. Oh, and by the way, I wanted to point out for anyone listening that it looks like that you're running that once this year. I'm on the wait list. I signed up for the wait list weeks and weeks ago. So it looks like you're running that once this year, starting April 10th. Is that right?

[00:13:45] Brooke Tully: That's right. So it'll go the week of April 10th through the, like last week of May. It's one lesson a week, so it's a L one live lesson. So at the bare minimum, that's the commitment is to come to the live lesson, although they're also all recorded. So if you don't make it, you [00:14:00] can always catch it later.

[00:14:01] Brooke Tully: And there's worksheets associated with each lesson that you can work on. throughout the course, you can send them to me to take a look at. We can book working sessions with me so we can have some one-on-one time. You know, cuz again, part of my real core mission is like really helping to build the capacity of practitioners, even folks who don't have a communications background or a marketing background to be able to make, you know, even sometimes like these kind of small shifts in how we communicate, how we message what we're doing that sees greater attraction, greater movement leading to that kind of larger conservation movement.

[00:14:38] Brooke Tully: So in that, in that vein of building capacity, the other strand of work I do is workshops. So it's, it's kind of similar to the online course, but it's a little bit more bespoke for organizations or agencies who are looking to have, or sometimes it's collaborative groups and coalitions to have everyone that they're working with [00:15:00] really build a, a shared foundation of.

[00:15:03] Brooke Tully: behavior change, understanding, thinking differently about how to craft messages and outreach plans. So we do, it's like a three to four hour workshop is one of my core products there. And in addition to all of that, I do some consulting work directly with a select group of, of clients. And so that's, I don't always am trying to aim on building capacity, but it's really supporting the strategy and development of behavior change programs.

[00:15:30] Jaymi Heimbuch: Got it. Thank you so much for, for taking us through that. I think that there's a lot of folks who are listeners who either work alongside nonprofits or are part of nonprofits or community organizations that would be really interested in that. So thanks for walking us through what you do. And I'm curious, as you are building or as you are guiding clients through the concept of.

[00:15:53] Jaymi Heimbuch: Communication strategies, messaging strategies, understanding audience designing, messaging and [00:16:00] all of that. How do you see visual storytelling coming into play or, or the importance of it or the presence of it, or the use of it in strategizing for effective messaging?

[00:16:14] Brooke Tully: I think it's absolutely critical. I mean, it's the visuals, whether it's, you know, visual storytelling are just like one single graphic image to me is. Make or break for a lot of these messages, a lot of these initiatives. As humans, we process visuals and images so much faster than we process. Or not even just process, but comprehend the meaning of before we even get to text and words.

[00:16:43] Brooke Tully: So it's the first thing we see and it's the first thing our brain tries to make sense of. And it's also as humans how we learn, you know, the most. I mean, that's, you know, from, you know, our evolution, we still like to see other people doing things in [00:17:00] order to learn how to do them. And therefore for me, I see that visual component as being so critical.

[00:17:08] Brooke Tully: And yet it still is often like the last piece that gets considered, right? It's, that is still that piece that's like, okay, we designed the message. Now what, you know, image, are we gonna slap onto it? You know, let's just pick from the hat and it needs to be embedded in. The strategy from the beginning because it really, it can do wonders to compliment, even build upon what the message is trying to say.

[00:17:34] Brooke Tully: It can also be incredibly detrimental to the message if it's not aligned with the strategy of what we're trying to say or what we're trying to communicate. So I do always, you know, in the course, I certainly, you know, talk about that quite a bit and with my clients as well, with the strategy. It's like, you know, what visuals are we using and how do we align that with what we know about humans and behavior [00:18:00] change.

[00:18:00] Jaymi Heimbuch: Right. Do you happen to have an example in mind of maybe a client that you've worked with where where finding really effective imagery helped to transform the messaging campaign or whatever it is they were working on? Or maybe one in which switching the imagery really changed things?

[00:18:21] Brooke Tully: Yeah, there's, I mean, I, I have to kind of scratch my brain to think about a specific example, but I can, I can think of some that have come up more recently, either through the course or through my clients. There is a group I've worked with on they, they specialize in whale conservation and historically a lot of the visual storytelling about whales are.

[00:18:49] Brooke Tully: Pretty scary, sad images of whales that are either dead, they've been struck by maybe the propeller or the hull of a ship, maybe a large ship, or [00:19:00] they're caught up in fishing lines and, you know, are not surviving or a struggling. And these are very sad, depressing images, typically with a call for taking action or making change.

[00:19:15] Brooke Tully: And there is, without a doubt, a time and a place for those images. You know, if I think about, you know, journalism and, you know, news you know, news storytelling, that's the truth. That's reality. And, and that needs to play a role in it. However, when we're talking about behavior change, communication and wanting to engage and empower, and inspire and mobilize people to take action, shifting to visuals of healthy, happy.

[00:19:48] Brooke Tully: Surviving, thriving whales is something that moves us even more. We can start to, you know, for better or worse anthropomorphize with the whales and say, oh look, they have, you know, a baby [00:20:00] just like my family. Or they're in pods just like us and, you know, I wanna contribute to keeping them happy, to keeping this, you know, species alive and thriving and having the space they need to move because they're so amazing and majestic.

[00:20:16] Brooke Tully: And this group actually, it is one of those examples that made the shift cuz so many of their visuals and their messages were in the doom and gloom and all hope is lost if we don't do something now pathway and shifting towards change is possible. We need your. , we wanna keep these whales, you know, having their best lives and this is how we do that.

[00:20:44] Brooke Tully: So making, and they they actually called it shifting their conservation playbook from doom and gloom to stories of like, hope and optimism and action. And that has, you know, really for them move the, shifted the momentum of [00:21:00] support. Cuz they were working on a, particularly a species of whales that is not overly charismatic.

[00:21:04] Brooke Tully: So it's not humpback, it's not orcas which tends to get all the attention. It was a little bit one of those lesser cool or lesser exciting whales. But it ac it did help really garner a lot more support and momentum among their audience because they just shifted that focus both in their messages and in their.

[00:21:22] Jaymi Heimbuch: Yeah. So much has come up for me as you were giving that example, one of which is the idea of how that really tra almost traumatic imagery, which is necessary to see, like we, like you said, there is a time and a place to see the reality of what's happening. That, that was really prevalent for a long time.

[00:21:44] Jaymi Heimbuch: But I think that people can also figure out how to. look away really quickly when they're not ready to deal with that, or it's too difficult or it leaves them also not really understanding how to make [00:22:00] change. And so then I think about the idea of Brian's scar's, secrets of the Whales that he was part of creating this just incredible body of work that focused on whale culture and what getting that imagery out to the world has been able to do for sparking hope and optimism and interest and support and so much else.

[00:22:23] Jaymi Heimbuch: For whales, for people to even consider a species that maybe they were like, oh yeah, I know that they exist, but now to consider them in a way where it's like, oh, maybe I relate to them. Maybe I now feel bonded to them, and that that can be so effective. Another thing that, that popped up for me while you were giving that really great example is the inside of a, uh, group that I'm in for conservation photographers. Someone posed the question of what do you think is. How did they phrase it? I think like what do you think is one mistake or what do you think is missing in media when it comes to [00:23:00] covering conservation issues?

[00:23:01] Jaymi Heimbuch: And what most people in the comments said was, there's never a way to help. They focus completely on the doom and gloom and what's going wrong with our planet. And there aren't stories of success or solutions. There aren't stories that say, here's the terrible things that are happening and now here are actions that you can take at home.

[00:23:21] Jaymi Heimbuch: And really helping people feel hopeful or empowered. And that that's something that it seems like a lot of people who are consuming media are craving. is that ability to say, okay, I know, I know, I know, I know. I've heard how terrible things are. Now I need to know is there hope and how can I contribute?

[00:23:43] Jaymi Heimbuch: Do you see, in all of the work that you've been doing for all this time and working with organizations, are you seeing a shift like that? Is that something that's coming up or is that something that's maybe always been there

[00:23:55] Brooke Tully: A shift towards hope or away from hope?

[00:23:58] Jaymi Heimbuch: a shift toward [00:24:00] audiences craving stories of, of hope or stories that provide solutions?

[00:24:06] Brooke Tully: Yeah, I mean, I, I think certainly, yes, there's definitely, and I, there's some great research out there. I wanna say it's from like the Yale Center for Climate Communications, maybe from pew Research Center. But I see more and more research out there that says, you know, people understand the issues. A growing percentage of people understand the issues, a growing percentage of people are concerned, whether it's climate, sustainability, conservation, you know, admittedly I think climate is higher on the list than those other topics.

[00:24:38] Brooke Tully: More and more people beyond our kind of core group of audiences that are always on board. Like there's a growing movement of concern. But with that, just like you pointed out, is this growing uncertainty of what one can do. And with that, because they haven't heard enough messages of what they can [00:25:00] do, people start to feel really concerned that there there isn't anything they can do.

[00:25:04] Brooke Tully: Or even that the things they can do maybe aren't big enough or impactful enough. And that's a shame. I mean, that's all of, that's an untapped audience to me where we can. Maybe get out of our own status quo or our own mode of raising awareness and shift to empowerment, hopefulness, and solutions. And without spending time on doom and gloom, without spending time on, you know, you have to read this, you know, 17 page research paper to understand the issue.

[00:25:37] Brooke Tully: It's like, let's get people towards the action. And I really, I, I think that really comes across in a lot of the stuff that I'm kind of teaching and building capacity in, is, you know, yes, understanding the issues and is, is important. Caring about these species is important. What we need to focus our attention on now is providing those pathways for doing [00:26:00] something.

[00:26:00] Brooke Tully: People are craving it. And you mentioned, you know, the feedback with journalists and what they could be doing. The same thing applies to nonprofit organizations, is more what we need more of is that, Clear I think I'll be repeating myself that clear pathway towards action and change. And, and you know, the proof and belief that that adds up.

[00:26:24] Brooke Tully: Even if it feels kind of small, you know, even if bringing my own bags to the grocery store feels like, could this possibly be making a difference? But, you know, furthering that validation and proof that actually it does make a difference cuz you're now one of, you know, a hundred thousand, a million people who are doing this and it adds up.

[00:26:42] Brooke Tully: So we need to, you know, and thinking about impact, being able to provide feedback on the impact to our audiences is also an important piece of that.

[00:26:51] Jaymi Heimbuch: Yeah. Gosh, that just makes me think about like how reinforcing it would be if on your receipt from the store, if you brought your [00:27:00] own bag, there's a little celebration message for you, a little reinforcement message for you or something, or

[00:27:05] Brooke Tully: Yeah. And actually in, in the course one of the sort of case studies that we sort of work on throughout, and it's, you know, a fictional case study, but we talk about bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, and one of the brainstorming activities in the chorus is what would make it even more special for the audience if they did the behavior, right?

[00:27:24] Brooke Tully: If they brought their reusable bags to the grocery store, how could we just make it even sweeter for them, you know, on their way out? You know, is it a as simple as a high five? Is it gold stickers? Is it something on the receipt? You know, and we're sort of in a, a playground where we have no budget and you know, like unlimited capacity.

[00:27:44] Brooke Tully: But some of these ideas are. , you know, either free or relatively inexpensive. And you think about that dose of validation for the audience member themselves and how it sets them up to repeat the behavior and even to then [00:28:00] tell other people about doing the behavior because we made them feel good. And that's another thing we don't do often enough in the work, is make people feel good for what they are doing, for what they're trying to do more of.

[00:28:12] Brooke Tully: Even if they're not, you know, perfect at it yet just continuing to say like, this is, like you're doing it and you're re-appreciate it and you know, go you and don't give up. You know, even if you have some setbacks, like keep going. And that sort of fun validation boost, I think is, is unfortunately really missing in a lot of.

[00:28:33] Jaymi Heimbuch: Yeah, and I think it's important, especially nowadays when we have so many tools at our disposal to be able to make. Living life more interactive. I can see visual storytelling, what we do as conservation photographers also potentially becoming more interactive as the visual storytelling is put to use by campaigns or put to use by an organization and be able to make things more interactive, more [00:29:00] reinforcing, whether that's in an app or on a website or whatever it might be.

[00:29:04] Jaymi Heimbuch: There's, there's just so much potential out there. But earlier you said something that I think is really, really important that I would love to dig into, which is as we move and we need to move beyond our core audience, who's always on board to audiences who are now more and more aware, and as we shift past awareness, we need to move into, and here's what you can do, here's how you can take part, here's hope.

[00:29:26] Jaymi Heimbuch: Here are our solutions. And one of the big things that I talk about with my students in conservation photography 1 0 1, as they're shaping the stories that they wanna tell visually, I always talk about. Who is the audience first, what action do you wanna have? Come out of a story As you're creating a story, there's a purpose behind that story.

[00:29:47] Jaymi Heimbuch: There's something that you wanna achieve. By creating that story beyond the sheer joy of creating it, or the feeling of of passion or purpose you have behind it. There's a reason you're creating it. And it's usually because there's an action. [00:30:00] There's a something that you want the people who see it to perform.

[00:30:03] Jaymi Heimbuch: So then who is the audience that you need to get that story in front of? And then how do we wanna shape a story in a way that is. Interesting, attractive, appealing to that audience so that they stop and really pay attention and engage with it and feel compelled. And in fact, I did an entire episode on the three A's action audience and artifact.

[00:30:24] Jaymi Heimbuch: It's episode 21. So when you are inside of the, the workshop or when you are working with one of your clients and you're thinking about audience, can you start to help us understand more clearly? What is an audience and how do you start to understand an audience that you need to get toward? And you can keep this at 30,000 feet.

[00:30:48] Jaymi Heimbuch: You can get into the weeds however you wanna approach this. But what's an audience and how do you understand the audience that you need to get in front of for a message?

[00:30:56] Brooke Tully: Yeah. That's a great question. And I love talking about [00:31:00] audiences, obviously. One of the. I'm gonna say frameworks, and I'm not sure framework is the exact right term for this, but one of the frameworks I like to use to help think about audiences is the diffusion of innovation theory. And this essentially describes how technology ideas and has been applied to behaviors spread across a community.

[00:31:23] Brooke Tully: And that's, it's left really loose. So community is defined by you, small, large, global, local, you know, so there's not a set definition of community. And it follows you sort of a standard deviation, bell curve approach. But it talks about these different segments in terms of how quickly they adopt something new and what they need in order to adopt something new.

[00:31:50] Brooke Tully: And the first two segments of that are, you know, innovators and early adopters. And to me, that's the group that falls into our core audience. That's the group [00:32:00] that you know, back to your example of the feedback on what is, what are journalists missing in their visual storytelling? That's a group that is propelled forward by images of, that may not be pleasant to look at.

[00:32:16] Brooke Tully: They're not turning away from it. They are leaning into that because they're likely to be, you know, animal welfare, ac activists or supporters. So they see an image of an animal that's in, in stress or in dire need. Boom, they're taking action. They don't need much because they're already built to take an action or change their behaviors based on, you know, really some kind of high level information.

[00:32:42] Brooke Tully: And we've fall into this camp too, as you know, conservationists. Like, oh, plastic straws are bad for the ocean. That's all I need to hear. They're outta my life forever. Like, it doesn't take much to convince us. After that group is a lot, much larger segment that's called the early majority. And [00:33:00] these are folks that are motivated for different reasons.

[00:33:04] Brooke Tully: And a lot of times that's, you know, maybe they want to see a path towards action. They just haven't seen it yet. And that's what propels them. Typically, it's, they need to see other people doing it, know that there's sort of a social movement that's starting. It doesn't have to be totally adopted by the social movement yet, but they see it starting.

[00:33:24] Brooke Tully: They feel that momentum of, you know, people are starting to bring their own bags to the grocery store or starting to go to climate protests. They need to feel like there's something in it for them that they get out of it. And they usually also need to feel that it's somewhat socially safe to do that.

[00:33:41] Brooke Tully: They're not, they're not leading the pack, right. They're not really interested in leading the pack, but they wanna be a few folks behind those leaders. . And so when thinking about audiences, I think the default is let's talk to our core group because they're our core group and we know that we're going to get reactions and likes and petition [00:34:00] signatures.

[00:34:01] Brooke Tully: What I try to push everyone towards is what's that next group? Who are those folks after the core audience? Because they're probably really willing to do something. We're just not talking to them in a way that resonates with them yet. And so it's, it's typically how I try to phrase it is, you know, who's already doing the behavior, who's next and who's most likely to do it next?

[00:34:26] Brooke Tully: You know, low hanging fruit is a totally viable audience strategy. This is a group of folks who will do it. They just need to get prompted and motivated to do it, and we shouldn't leave them behind. They're probably on the fence. They might even be a little, you know, like, meh, about the whole thing.

[00:34:44] Brooke Tully: that's a, a great audience opportunity. A a at the risk of going too long on this topic, I'll just add one more thing is I, I also used a term that I adopted from Seth Godin, who's sort of a marketing guru of minimum viable audience.

[00:34:59] Jaymi Heimbuch: [00:35:00] Mm-hmm.

[00:35:00] Brooke Tully: Move away from general public. Everyone who's that core group that we can start to see change among, we can start to have an impact with, and it doesn't have to be a huge group.

[00:35:13] Brooke Tully: What's that small, the minimum viable audience to start to see change, to affect change among, let's start there. It's okay to start there cuz from there we can scale up, we can see what's working, what's not working, and then go bigger from there as opposed to stretching ourselves maybe too thin across this sort of large, you know undefined group, like general public.

[00:35:39] Jaymi Heimbuch: That is incredibly helpful to think about. So often as we're, you know, for the folks who are kind of deep inside of conservation, visual storytelling or conservation work, we're thinking about how do we get beyond the choir? And I think you gave us a really clear understanding of who it is that is just beyond that choir and [00:36:00] how.

[00:36:00] Jaymi Heimbuch: Important it is to really figure out how to get in front of them. There's three books. I'm just gonna throw out some titles inside the show notes. There's gonna be links to all the resources that we talk about, Brooke's website, her class any books that we mentioned, that sort of thing. So scroll down to the show notes and define those links.

[00:36:17] Jaymi Heimbuch: But as you were talking, there's three book titles that came up for me that I wanna throw out there and reference as further research. And then I have a big question for you, . So the, the three titles are Malcolm Gladwell's. The Tipping Point is really great information to dive into Jonah Burger's Contagious, how or Why Things Catch On.

[00:36:36] Jaymi Heimbuch: That's a really great book to dive into. And the third one is Seth Godin's. This is Marketing. So Seth Godin has so many books out there, but I really enjoyed this is marketing as a way to kind of get all of these little com components and that minimum viable audience and so much of what you talked about.

[00:36:52] Jaymi Heimbuch: So for anyone interested in digging deeper, those are three resources when you're talking with clients about audience [00:37:00] strategy and explaining things like where we're looking for audiences and, and how we wanna really get in front of people and how we understand them.

[00:37:09] Jaymi Heimbuch: What are a couple of the pitfalls in maybe gaps in understanding or Pitfalls in thinking that organizations have to overcome to really grasp who it is that they wanna get messages in front of,

[00:37:25] Brooke Tully: Yeah, I mean, I think one challenge is the fact that many. organizations haven't really pushed themselves past that core audience previously. So it sort of feels like this whole unknown universe. So we, we have our email subscribers, we have our social media followers, we have our, our loyal group. Who else is out there?

[00:37:47] Brooke Tully: You know, and it's just this like, big question of who would be interested in this topic that isn't already signed up? We don't know. And that's a big gap, is not kind of keeping their finger on the [00:38:00] pulse of interests. And I often use like market research to help fill that gap. I mean, there's so many organizations that pull together amazing consumer trend reports that at the very least are like tangentially related to whatever conservation topic is out there.

[00:38:18] Brooke Tully: And it could be some of these reports of how concerned people are and who is the most concerned. And these reports are amazing at. creating audience segmentations and profiles and giving a sense of which groups are most concerned, which groups are not concerned at all, which maybe will save them for later down the road.

[00:38:37] Brooke Tully: And that can be a great starting point for potentially either just working with that data and moving forward, or as a jumping off point to do your own research on who might be the audience segments we need to reach next. I've seen related to that, and this has come up a number of times with clients, is [00:39:00] there's not yet a comfort level with reaching the younger generations.

[00:39:06] Jaymi Heimbuch: Mm.

[00:39:06] Brooke Tully: Right. A lot of folks who are in that core group in the choir are getting older as people do. It happens. Right? And the generations have kind of moved forward that there hasn't been a lot of energy put into understanding the millennial audience and. Very much the Gen Z audience. And that gap, I think, leaves those organizations a little bit, you know, on their heels or kind of, you know falling behind because what those generations are looking for and what they need is very different than what they've been doing historically with messaging, communication events.

[00:39:48] Brooke Tully: You know, all, even like the kinds of actions people can take. They're just, I, I think they've fallen so comfortable talking to one audience that they don't really know how to [00:40:00] diversify to different audiences. So that's definitely a, a pitfall there. And I would add, this is sort of related to my other point, that I think there's so much value in just keeping track of consumer trends nationally and globally overall because, again, even if it's about car purchases or package good beha buying behaviors.

[00:40:22] Brooke Tully: It indicates to us some of these shifting expectations that consumers have and those shifting expectations impact every single sector out there, including, you know, charitable causes, nonprofit organizations advocacy missions is what are the shifting expectations that people have when engaging with a topic, with an entity, and how can we meet more of those expectations so that someone doesn't hit our website and says, oh, this isn't for me.

[00:40:53] Brooke Tully: Or, read a description of our event. It says, Nope, you know, this doesn't sound like I'm going to feel [00:41:00] included in it. So kind of keeping our head on that, like our heads, keeping our eyes on that shifting landscape of consumers globally will help us be more agile so we can. ebb and flow and adapt based on what all of our audiences are doing.

[00:41:19] Jaymi Heimbuch: Mm-hmm. . Oh, that is so helpful. I'm curious if you have insights for us specifically as visual storytellers, as photographers, as we think about shaping our stories and messages, whether that is alongside an organization that is figuring out their messaging and trying to get in in front of other audiences or understanding their audiences better.

[00:41:43] Jaymi Heimbuch: Or as we're doing this independently as our own just fun visual storytelling work that we're like passionate about an issue that we wanna get out there into the world that we're working independently on. Do you have any tips or advice for us as we think about shaping [00:42:00] stories to try and make sure that we get that impact out of it?

[00:42:04] Brooke Tully: Yeah, certainly. And, and I think my first sort of tip comes back to something we talked about earlier. In terms of the role of visual storytelling and behavior change, and it's the opportunity to feature more people you know, we do learn best by seeing other people doing something. So, you know, certainly we, we love our species and we love our natural resources and our habitats that we can take pictures of and, and we shouldn't ever lose that.

[00:42:35] Brooke Tully: So I'm not saying like, throw that stuff away, only show people. But I think complimenting that with showing images of individuals, households, communities who are taking action helps to define what action looks like or what action can look like. It helps to mirror that for our audience. [00:43:00] And again, it sort of, makes the behavior action safer for the audience cuz they see, oh, that's what it looks like.

[00:43:08] Brooke Tully: There's other people who do who are doing that. And that means I can probably do it too. It also instills that sense of hope or like you said before, like a lot of people feel like I don't know what to do. Or is there, there's even a good amount of cynicism out there? Is there anything we can do? So by showing those images of people and people taking action or demonstrating that desired behavior will, I think greatly compliment the oth other visuals of species and habitats and create greater impact.

[00:43:39] Brooke Tully: I would say with that as well, and this really I think, kind of falls into storytelling is, it's something I've been thinking about a lot this last year, is how do we tell that future story tell a more positive. I'm gonna say happy ending. But I think I, I don't want to say that like [00:44:00] naively, but what are we working towards?

[00:44:02] Brooke Tully: Like what would good look like if we are successful at mobilizing more action and change? Can we paint that picture even if it's, you know, an illustrated picture of what the opposite of apocalypse looks like for us and, you know, what does good look like? What, what are we working towards? And again, that's all part of that sort of hope and optimism initiative of saying, you know, these little things do add up and this is what shifting.

[00:44:32] Brooke Tully: I'm gonna just make up examples to all electric can mean in terms of, you know, cleaner air, clearer skies in 50 years if we all take action. And I think there's just been so much, especially like science fiction and fictional storytelling of the future that is, Leaves us and even leaves me feeling pretty hopeless.

[00:44:53] Brooke Tully: Like everyone who imagined the future, just imagine no animals left and like no green spaces [00:45:00] like it is. Can we do better? And what is the, what does it look like to do better? I, and I also wanna, I've been doing some research on trends, consumer trends lately, cuz it's the start of the year and all these consumer trends are coming out.

[00:45:12] Brooke Tully: And I haven't been diving deeply into it yet cause I'm kind of touching on all the topics at the surface level. But it seems like there's a movement happening around joy and it's really sort of, I think in reaction to so much of the news that we've been having in the last few years, the pandemic, everything that people are seeking joy.

[00:45:36] Brooke Tully: And this is coming into like social media posts events and activities, experiences and what it means to. not be in this world of like, it's all falling apart, which is basically what it feels like when you hit any news outlet. Like, oh, it's all falling apart, is, you know, seeking joy. And I think that there's something interesting to explore in that, [00:46:00] in visual storytelling is how do we, what's the opportunity to kind of evoke a sense of joy or provide a sense of joy, even when we're talking about some hard topics like conservation or needing, needing to save species.

[00:46:14] Brooke Tully: So I think that's something definitely worth digging into more, although I haven't yet dug into it.

[00:46:21] Jaymi Heimbuch: I, there's so much coming up for me. As you were talking about the idea, I think that you are hitting the nail on the head of an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to the idea of painting a picture. Like in marketing we call it future pacing, or we can call it you know, in business it's like paint what done looks like so that everyone's on board with what we're, what we're working toward, and what that goal is.

[00:46:45] Jaymi Heimbuch: If you're kind of on more of the spiritual side, it's, you know, affirmations, what are, what's your vision board? But I think that all of it leads back to. Just what, what you were saying, what is it that we're working toward? Not what are we running away [00:47:00] from, but what are we working toward? It's two different ways of thinking about like, are we struggling to stave off an inevitable or terrifying future?

[00:47:12] Jaymi Heimbuch: Or are we working toward in this like, sometimes really tough but diligent way with joy toward a clear. Solution that we want. And it's sort of like that, that whole idea of keeping your North star, keeping your why, painting that picture of like, here's what done could look like. Isn't that incredible?

[00:47:33] Jaymi Heimbuch: Like that is what gets me up in the morning versus like, oh my God, I gotta get up today and do something for this planet that is slowly dying . Like it's a totally different approach

[00:47:43] Brooke Tully: Well, and I feel that, you know, so many places, I'm gonna say places, probably mainly nonprofits, and government agencies working on this issue are in the reactive seat. They're just reacting to the crisis of the day. Or [00:48:00] you know, the loud, you know, hater, you know, on social media. And some of that is due, you know, to capacity constraints, you know, financial resources, staffing resources.

[00:48:11] Brooke Tully: And you know, we can't, we can only do so much when we don't have resources on our side. But we can get stuck there. We can get stuck in reactive mode and feel like that's our job. Our job is to react. Yet there's also a path where our job is to chart that way forward. And like you said, paint that picture.

[00:48:34] Brooke Tully: And, and what's got me, you know, on this thought last year is I read some article about how sci-fi writers and stories actually shaped a lot of the inventions we have today. You know, and you think about someone young watching Star Wars or Star Trek or reading other sci-fi books that I can't think of.

[00:48:54] Brooke Tully: Like, you know, the Metaverse is part of this, right? You read Snow Crash and [00:49:00] you are inspired by it, you're influenced by it. And then you take a career path and engineering or something super technical like that, you're like, oh, maybe I'll create the Metaverse, right? Because you've read about it as a child and it moved you.

[00:49:13] Brooke Tully: And we're actually, in some ways, those science fiction stories shape our reality today, right? But if all those science fiction, story science fiction stories are not really painting many favorable pictures about, you know, our flora and fauna, then where does that leave us? Does it leave us in some ways not even thinking about, not even assuming that any of that can last, that any of it will be there in the future.

[00:49:45] Brooke Tully: But if we can paint different stories in groups like solar punk are doing some things like this where they're probably still compromise cuz you know, humans are still here and we still have an impact on the planet, but what does great look [00:50:00] like? Not even good enough. What in great look like if we put all of our resources and powers and minds together and not assume that it's not, that these resources aren't going to be there down the road.

[00:50:13] Brooke Tully: That we can have technology and nature together. And I think we need just more of those, those inspirations. Not only to help us, we started with kind of talking about like our inner voices. Cause I think that would help us a great deal, but also then something we can share and communicate with our audiences for why all these, you know, little things do add up to something that we can work together to achieve.

[00:50:42] Jaymi Heimbuch: Yeah. Ah, that was so well said. That like that

[00:50:46] Brooke Tully: definitely a rant. Sorry,

[00:50:48] Jaymi Heimbuch: I love it. I love it. And I mean, just what you just said alone makes me feel inspired about an approach to visual storytelling that goes beyond documenting what is, [00:51:00] and then also digs into Helping to visualize possibility, helping to visualize what we want to achieve and and what we're hoping for, and to be able to say that is why we're talking about this change.

[00:51:15] Jaymi Heimbuch: Not that this terrible thing is happening and that yes, there are ways that we can change that path, but like what does it look like if we achieve that? And to have that inspiration, like just as a visual storyteller, I'm now, my mind is churning with possibilities and I think it's really critical As photographers, you know, we focus so much on creating imagery, whether that is documenting what's happening or creating really artistic impressions of ideas and concepts, but we focus on creating imagery. inspires that moves people, that grabs attention. But in conservation photography, it's about that. And what do we do with those images to really move the needle to make an impact? And how do we [00:52:00] take an image that we put so much time and energy in crafting and creating and put it to work more than once again and again and again, and really have it have maximum impact?

[00:52:11] Jaymi Heimbuch: One of the things that I know we can do is to take your course making moves. I'm on the wait list for it. I cannot wait. I'm gonna be like trying to be first in line when doors open to be, to make sure that I actually get in on this. One of the things I think is really genuinely taking your course and understanding deeply.

[00:52:30] Jaymi Heimbuch: Audience, um, consumer behavior crafting, messaging, all of that behind it. Do you have other resources that you recommend? Like if someone is listening to this episode and they're like, I wanna do something today, right now, to kind of ride this wave of inspiration, do you have anything that you could recommend?

[00:52:51] Brooke Tully: Oh, great question. I, I'll include a few uh, self selfish and selfless. Not selfish. Selfless selfish [00:53:00] plugs. I, if you are not interested in waiting for the course, I do have sort of an on-demand short course on the website that's available. It's called Messages That Motivate. It is 55 bucks and it's like seven videos and you have access to it for life, along with worksheets.

[00:53:16] Brooke Tully: That's a great way to like get started right away. I'm certainly a, a biased fan of my newsletter. So if you wanted to sign up for that I, you know, it goes out twice a month and I try to make them all pretty useful in terms of planting a seed of an idea in terms of how to understand our audiences, how to communicate with them you know, how to achieve these conservation movements that I love talking about.

[00:53:41] Brooke Tully: I think certainly tapping into the books that you recommended is, you know, all of them give great suggestions for something you can do. I, I would add to that the book Switch by Dan and Chip Heath. Really gets into methods for changing behaviors and they have sort of a formula in there, very [00:54:00] simplified but useful formula in there.

[00:54:02] Brooke Tully: So I think that can get folks started. And certainly, you know, it, this is easier said than done, but I think what's really helpful is anytime you're about to put out some communication piece out into the world, is just to take that pause before you click post or send to say, you know, who am I sending this to?

[00:54:25] Brooke Tully: Or who am I sharing this with? What else might they need to hear from me to feel motivated by this? What additional instructions might they need to help them follow through on the thing that I want them to follow through on? You know, what else can I give in this moment to help my audience? do the thing I'm hoping that they'll do.

[00:54:47] Brooke Tully: And that, I mean those answers again, they might not always be there. You might not always know, but I think kind of building the habit of taking the pause is one of the most helpful things to do cuz it just [00:55:00] shifts us a little bit out of our, this is what I wanna say, mode to what do they need to hear mode or in photography it could be what do they need to see mode.

[00:55:09] Brooke Tully: I know changing images is not as easily done as changing text. But still that sort of mindset of it's not about me, it's about them.

[00:55:18] Jaymi Heimbuch: Mm-hmm. Ah, thank you so much for those resources and really that beyond a resource kind of. New way of thinking about everything that we put out in the world. That pause that is so important and that can dramatically change. Just taking that pause and thinking, have I been clear enough? I, I gave all the message in this maybe social media caption, but have I given someone that next step that they can take?

[00:55:44] Jaymi Heimbuch: Have I done the job of providing a call to action that someone now feels motivated and now they know what to do and really like making that ingrained in what we do? Thank you for that big, big important reminder and thank you for everything that you do for being someone [00:56:00] who's teaching us all about this critically important stuff.

[00:56:03] Jaymi Heimbuch: And I think that it can feel really overwhelming for conservationists and, and photographers to think about messaging and audience and all this stuff. They're like, oh my God, I gotta go get a degree in marketing and that doesn't interest me at all. I don't wanna deal with any of that. I don't wanna deal with blah, blah blah.

[00:56:18] Jaymi Heimbuch: And you're someone who is basically saying, this is really interesting. Safe. Cool territory to dig into and presenting it in a way that we all can understand and see how we can utilize it inside the niche that we're working in. So thank you so much for the time and energy you've put into this.

[00:56:36] Brooke Tully: my pleasure. I, I love it. It fulfills me. And you know, I definitely feel like, you know, part of my role here is to take whatever's in my brain of how I know how to do this stuff and try to put it out there so everyone can use these tools. And, and I think, you know, part of our innate way of being as conservationists is, you know, we focus on being experts.

[00:56:57] Brooke Tully: And I certainly want everyone coming into [00:57:00] the course and the workshops to feel like you can actually use these tools that yes, experts created, but you don't have to be an expert in you can apply them, not try to make it as, you know practical as possible. So that, , everyone can apply it without feeling like I have to get a degree in this or, you know, I have to go down the rabbit hole of, of marketing all of a sudden, or even down the rabbit hole of behavioral economics.

[00:57:25] Brooke Tully: You know, if, if we can make it, if we can bridge that gap between the academia theory side and the practitioners side, I think that's a really big win that we haven't yet achieved. But making all of these tools available and user friendly can get them in more hands.

[00:57:42] Jaymi Heimbuch: Mm-hmm. . That'll be a milestone to celebrate. Right.

[00:57:45] Brooke Tully: For real. Yeah.

[00:57:48] Jaymi Heimbuch: Well, Brooke, I am, and for everyone listening, I'm linking to Making Moves course. I'm linking to the messages that Motivate Course, which is the on demand course linking to all the books that we [00:58:00] mentioned in the show notes. So wherever you're listening to this podcast, you can scroll down and see links to all of those things.

[00:58:06] Jaymi Heimbuch: Brooke, thank you so much for being here and, and talking with us today. It's been such a joy.

[00:58:13] Brooke Tully: Aw. Jamie, thank you so much for inviting me to be on here. I'd love to come back if you ever want me to rant again. But it's been just a, a pleasure to have this conversation with you. And I certainly enjoy listening to your podcast episodes as well, so I'm, I'm happy to be in the mix of that

[00:58:28] Jaymi Heimbuch: Oh, that's so you just opened up a dangerous door for yourself because Yes. I would love to have you back on the podcast again,

[00:58:35] Brooke Tully: All right, anytime

[00:58:36] Jaymi Heimbuch: Wonderful. Well, everyone, thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you again next week.

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