Andrea Learned

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Cities For Climate: The Power of Influencer Engagement

Global climate action momentum has recently shifted from the federal government level to the more local – city, state and region – level. With that in mind, the data mapping team at Onalytica and I chose to study the power and potential of Twitter influencer engagement around the #Cities4Climate tag, specifically. Our goal: to discover the opportunities for broader amplification of the cause.

Now that it seems ever-more likely the U.S. government, for one, will not follow through on their piece of the Paris Agreement, our cities’ Mayors, Chief Sustainability Officers and Chief Resilience Officers are poised to take an even stronger lead. Leveraging Twitter for influence on this topic holds a lot of potential as a key leadership tool.

Two of the insights that emerged from our research, and that are included in the full Onalytica post (which also includes helpful, downloadable lists of the top 100 brands/organizations and the top 100 individuals influencing the #Cities4Climate conversation), are:

  • Good hashtags don’t have to lose impact past the event: There is great between-event opportunity for continuing to contribute to a particular discussion tag. Those who choose to can take the lead and be very visible, while amplifying all the wisdom and information that many others may not know to tag. The work they put in (which can be fairly minor) to maintaining the tag in “quiet” times earns them greater influence when the next event comes around.
  • Twitter influencers hold significant power in which stories get told and shared: Despite recent evidence to the contrary, I am one who still believes that Twitter can be an incredible way to build a platform and leverage it for good. If you are a leading off-line voice in climate action, your story may not yet be reaching the broad digital audience that awaits. If you are writing articles, speaking at events and doing all sorts of traditional, off-line, connecting and amplifying, why not take it one step further for even greater climate action impact?

Read more from the full post, here.

As a bonus of studying up on the topic, we realized we had content worth sharing in a half hour podcast form. Listen and learn to our conversation with the City of Atlanta, Georgia’s Chief Resilience Officer, Stephanie Stuckey Benfield . As someone fairly new to her role, she has stepped fully into Twitter and is already finding it incredibly useful.

May Onalytica’s list of influential individuals and organizations, including C40Cities and 100 Resilient Cities, inspire a few more city, state, province or regional leaders to join the climate action conversation. We need your voices and influence!


Image via Flickr/Creative Commons (I am always game to use a gorgeous shot of my own city to demonstrate a point.)