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Cat Lazaroff
Washington DC
Communications Director at Defenders of Wildlife - I'm in it for the conversation. @catlaz
Interests: environment, global warming, wildlife, hiking, kayaking, watching movies with explosions
Recent Activity
Discovering - and using - the hashtags that are being used by your opposition can be an excellent way to spread information to potentially moveable audiences. It can also be a handy way to drown out the opposition, if that's your goal. Groups working on climate issues are actively watching, and using, the hashtags created by climate-deniers. We find them about as quickly as they are created, and are quickly able to mobilize our community to tweet corrections to misinformation campaigns, and direct tweeters to online resources for nonpartisan studies and scientific information.
Listening as a first step certainly is key - that's why Beth is pointing out that people who communicate for a living may have an easier time using social media successfully. We're supposed to know how to listen already! But as a communicator, I'm finding that many of my colleagues have spent so many years communicating outwards only (sending press releases, buying paid media, etc) that we've let our listening and relationship skills atrophy. I view this changed media/social media environment as an opportunity to remember why we became communicators in the first place - to help start, and participate in, important conversations. Social media simply helps us locate the people and communities who are having conversations that are meaningful to us, and then sharing information and ideas that will be meaningful to them. It's exciting to spend more time talking directly to people, and less time talking to newspapers and TV/radio stations!