Randy Olson is a scientist who then went to Hollywood to make movies about scientific issues. His theory is that scientists tend to communicate with the head, but most of the public is first motivated by libido (sex sells), then the gut (intuition, humor) then the heart and finally the head. You lose parts of the audience as you move up the body parts. Pretty much everyone is motivated by the lower organs to some extent but fewer are clearly motivated by the heart and fewer yet the head.
Since film and video are increasingly becoming a way of communicating in this age of YouTube, I think sustainability professionals might have something to learn from his insights about how to communicate things like climate change to the general population in their organizations.
The book is amusing and an easy read. The author tells stories (which is one of the important strategies for communication) and shows how to use the common three-act structure for everything from elevator pitches to longer stories. He encourages us to see those on the opposite side of an issue (eg, climate naysayers) as an asset because they set up a conflict, the key part of any story. This draws interest.
He feels that film is a good medium for motivating but not teaching, and as such can be step one in education: “motivate, then educate.” There wasn't much in the way of how-to's, something I was eager to learn.
Olson, R. (2018). Don't be such a scientist: talking substance in an age of style. S.l.: Island Press. ISBN-13: 978-1597265638
Other publications by the author:
Houston, We Have a Narrative: Why Science Needs Story.
Connection: Hollywood Storytelling Meets Critical Thinking.