The Green Fin Team was thrilled to hit the pavement this month and meet with clients in person! We are following the CDC’s latest guidelines and keeping an eye on the Delta variant transmission rates in our area, but we are glad to have had the opportunity to talk communications strategy face-to-face, even if our faces were masked.
Zoom has its pros and cons, but it definitely can’t capture the atmosphere in a room when a brainstorm starts swirling. To kickstart the synapses, we use as many visuals as possible, including color-coded sticky notes, large sheets of paper on the walls for everyone to write and draw their thoughts, and word cloud exercises. These tools and activities serve not only as notes on what came up during the session that can be referred to afterwards, but also a visual jumping off point for diving deeper. Many people are visual learners, and this 2014 study out of Iowa State found that we remember things that we see and feel much better than what we hear. This is bad news for Zoom-based brainstorming sessions, since they rely almost entirely on audio and perhaps some visuals on a screen. We at Green Fin Studio have done our best to incorporate visuals and interactivity using tools like Jamboard, but it’s difficult to replicate the tactile engagement of writing on a board.
On location with the Chesapeake Research Consortium (CRC), we also had the opportunity to share some tips for recording in-person interviews. That session culminated in some trial shoots with the staff in a lovely garden on the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center campus. The videos are a strategic step in the plan that we developed to help the CRC make science more accessible. They will be able to use their new recording skills to capture interviews with scientists, students, decision-makers, and more – all from their smartphones! Check out the graphic below for some quick guidelines on shooting video interviews from a smartphone.