"Increasing awareness" by preaching to the saved: what's the point?

So, a few days ago, while I’m in the bathroom getting ready for work, I’m listening to the morning show on the community radio station. The guest was some young director of a new organization that was working, more or less in his words, “to increase local awareness of the environmental harm of hydrofracking.”

Uhhh … okay. Seems like a good cause. However, the town where I live is an iconic “hippie haven” that is among the most liberal/leftist-leaning communities in the United States. It’s also a community of passionate environmentalists that happens to be ground zero of the national anti-hydrofracking movement; a place where, on practically every block, you’ll find several “NO FRACK” signs displayed on front lawns.

I agree with the sentiment, but still, what’s the point of having yet another group working to “increase awareness of hydrofracking” in a community where locals already consider it the first, second, and third most important issue? This isn’t a place where people are divided or ambivalent about the issue; you literally cannot escape outward, vehement opposition to hydrofracking in day-to-day life. Locals see hydrofracking in the same light that North Koreans see Uncle Sam imagery. If you’re trying to increase awareness of an issue, why not do it in a community where … well, people aren’t so acutely aware of it already?

Reinforcement. It helps to prevent people drifting away. It keeps the issue sharp in everyone’s mind.

Humans are a “drift away” kind of species. If we aren’t reminded of things, we tend, over time, to forget. Consciousness raising is a big-time deal even among people who already hold the belief in question.

Why else do people go to church every Sunday…or listen to opinionated media? (Rush Limbaugh or Rachel Maddow, your choice.)

Also, it is of some interest to just enough people to sell soap ads. Why does this forum have so many “Does God Exist” threads? It’s all been said a few hundred times. But we haven’t grown too tired of it to participate!

Yep, why do Coca Cola spend billions of dollars every year on advertising when they already have arguably the most well-known brand in the World and advertising is unlikely to have a significant effect on awareness of their product or in most cases their market penetration? It’s about maintaining their position.

One explanation is that such efforts get everyone talking, and talking has a way of spreading. So maybe it starts off with the “saved” talking about it at the coffee shop. The waitress overhears the conversation and gets interested and then mentions it to her boyfriend/hair dresser/next-door-neighbor and suddenly it’s a “thing”.

Or maybe a blurb on the radio makes contact with someone in a way that a sign on the side of the road doesn’t. Maybe that person doesn’t read or maybe they misread “fracking” as “freaking” (and what’s wrong with that?!). Maybe they saw some long-haired bums waving around anti-fracking posters and just tuned them out, but the radio guy sounds intelligent and persuasive.

Another thing. Sometimes people need to be hit with something over and over for it to really sink in. You can scream at people to go get tested for cancer, HIV, diabetes, or whatever and they won’t…until that morning they discover a lump right when Dr. Oz says something that scares the shit out of them. So maybe you’re driving down the road and see all the fracking signs and you’re all “fracking, schmackin’, what’s it gotta do with me!” But then you’re listening to that radio show and the guy says something about fracking being linked to poor water quality, and you instantly remember how nasty that drink of water was last night.

Sometimes beating a dead horse long enough wakes him up.

Yep. Why does Boeing advertise? You in the market for a 757?

You “product placement” guys stop at nothing! :wink:

Perhaps the organization needs to raise money for salaries, unless they are all volunteer.
It’s easiest to raise money where the prominent sentiment supports your cause.

You’re in upstate NY and in a hippie haven?

Are you in…New Paltz by any chance?

New Paltz is considered “Upstate” for those in NYC, but not “Upstate” for those that really live in Upstate. :smiley:

Seriously, getting back to what others wrote about reinforcing the message, there’s already several anti-fracking awareness groups in the area, so another is just adding to the noise. What Chief Pedant said makes some sense; a new group is more likely to find sponsors and get funding in an area where there’s already massive support for the cause. However, if an organization exists to spread awareness of an issue that everybody is already aware of, its goal seems pointless.

:slight_smile: Oh, I know that. I live further upstate from there. (I live in Albany, which is indeed upstate, even though it’s still not that far). It was just the most hippie haven I could think of.

Matthew 23:5,6

If you raise awareness in an environmentalist stronghold you will be lauded and given money. Thus the campaign will succeed.
If you do it in a place that likes fracking you will be told to mind your own business and that fracking will help the environment and the working people. Thus the campaign will fail.
The best place to go fishing is wherever the fish are.