An aquarium


Multi-audience evaluation of a public awareness campaign.

Conservation program evaluation

As exhibit designer Tom Hennes observed in an article about the future of natural history museums, science museums are no longer content to describe the natural world in neutral, dispassionate terms. Increasingly, they’re taking responsibility for that world and inspiring their visitors to better protect it.

A leading institution is conducting a campaign inside and outside of its own walls to increase public awareness of threats to a cherished natural resource. The staff asked Slover Linett to support and evaluate the campaign in several ways. First, we delved into the literature on behavior change, environmental education, and social marketing and interviewed leading thinkers and do-ers in this field. We wrote an extensive (and alas, proprietary) best-practices report.

Next, we helped the museum's project team develop a formal logic model for the initiative. (Logic models are a simple, powerful tool that all kinds of nonprofits can use to clarify their intentions and desired outcomes.)

Then we designed and conducted a region-wide telephone survey of adults in several states in the region, including a “control group” of counties in which no campaign activities had taken place. Extensive statistical analysis yielded key insights about the target audiences and revealed how the campaign could be improved (see sidebar). The survey will be repeated in future years to see how the institutions efforts are “moving the needle” toward greater urgency.

More recently, we conducted an ethnographic evaluation of the museum's outreach activities at environmentally-relevant festivals around the region. This project used a combination of observation, interviews, and surveys among festival-goers to create a fully-rounded picture of how the initiative’s outreach activities can be optimized to meet the long-range goals.

Currently, we're conducting a round of stakeholder interviews with environmental, industry, and academic leaders to help the project team plan a series of gatherings to improve stewardship of this natural resource. Our findings will help the initiative add a "grass-top" level to what is already a successful "grass roots" campaign.

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March 14, 2014 | Nicole Baltazar

Multiculturalism is key for creating inclusive arts experiences


Last month, Coca-Cola aired its now-famous Super Bowl ad depicting people from various racial, ethnic, and cultural groups singing “America the Beautiful” together in different languages. Among the instant outpouring of polarized reactions to this ad rang much praise for its depiction of a multicultural America. Yet the ad provoked a slew of negative responses as well. Many of the ad’s detractors questioned whether this multicultural America could ever feel as cohesive as an America whose citizens speak a common language, and therefore have taken great strides toward assimilating into a common culture.

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Project peek

Our survey reports illustrate overall responses and highlight key attitudinal or behavioral differences between audience segments. On this particular question, we found broad similarities but also a few statistically significant differences (marked with red arrows).