Developing a Communications Strategy for Red Tide in Florida

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) of the toxin-producing dinoflagellate Karenia brevis occur frequently throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

Accurate and effective communication is essential for ensuring

public safety and protection of the local economy.

The goal of the project is to advance red tide communications by aligning practitioners (i.e. agency) needs with end-user (i.e. resident and visitor) wants by developing a better social science understanding of preferred red tide information, formats, and delivery modes. Participation and collaboration with stakeholders are central to the success of a statewide communication strategy that seeks to develop innovative educational approaches and messaging to better communicate and promote the use of science-based information in decision-making during red tide events.

A multi-faceted approach to participatory research methods will be used to develop this communication strategy. Data collected via interviews, web queries, focus groups, and from new and existing public opinion survey results will be used to inform the development of a communication strategy comprising short-term responses to events and guidance towards a long-term educational campaign, with both approaches using multilingual and multimodal outreach materials.

Project’s press release: https://www.flseagrant.org/news/2020/07/ffwcc-awards-uf-ifas-florida-sea-grant-92k-to-create-communication-plan-alerting-public-of-expected-florida-red-tide-events/

Our Team

Events

In December 2020 we conducted three Focus Groups to identify red tide communication messaging needs of Florida’s Natural Resource Managers and Public Health Officials. Thank you very much to all the participants of these focus groups!

 

We are randomly distributing a mail survey to Florida Residents about their experience with red tide communications.

 

 

We are conducting an online survey to understand how users interact with the most popular red tide online tools. The survey is designed to assess the aesthetics, navigation and user experience, and the usefulness of information on the websites. The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Participants will be asked to navigate to a red tide website while completing the survey. We suggest participants complete the survey while using a computer so that two windows can be open at the same time on one screen. CLICK HERE if you are ready to take this survey. Thank you very much for your input!

 

We will be conducting another series of Focus Groups with Florida Residents this Spring to provide feedback on red tide messaging, content, and delivery methods. If you are interested in participating in one of these virtual focus groups please contact Lisa Krimsky at lkrimsky@ufl.edu.

 

We are currently seeking input on Red Tide Communication from Florida’s Business, Tourism, and Media Communities. Please see the information below.

We need your input!

Your input is requested to help identify Florida red tide messaging needs. Our team is reaching out to water-dependent businesses, hospitality, tourism, media, and public information professionals.

We want to learn about:

  • Red tide messaging aspects that most impact you
  • The biggest communication challenges you have with your customers/audience
  • Where/how you currently receive information and its utility
  • Improvements to red tide communication that would benefit you, your business and/or the communities you engage

Please register for one of the two date options under the category below that most closely represents your expertise.

We hope you can attend!

Business, Hospitality & Tourism Professionals
March 24, 2021 9-11am EST
Media, Public Information & Tourism Professionals
March 16, 2021 10am-12pm EST
March 24, 2021 1-3pm EST

Questions?

If you have any questions regarding this project, please contact Lisa Krimsky at lkrimsky@ufl.edu.