Miami Waterkeeper's Digital Marketing Specialist, Kayla Hauge, had the opportunity to give graduate students at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science a unique perspective on social media use and science communication.
Kayla has a background in journalism and digital communications, with experience in getting a message across to a broad range of people, regardless of the subject matter. For Miami Waterkeeper, she helps our staff of scientists and lawyers share our work on clean water issues with a variety of audiences. While on the panel, Kayla provided students a novel perspective on the importance of maintaining a social media presence for non-profit organizations, both for distributing scientific information and also for engaging the public. We use social media to share water quality results, call on community members to speak out at commission meetings, invite them to events, and much more.
Additionally, Kayla gave insights on how one social media platform may be better than another, depending on what you are communicating. For instance, if you have a strong photo you wish to share, Instagram may be the right platform, while Facebook has better event invitation capabilities. Kayla discussed how a non-profit organization uses social media as a form of outreach and education and may be necessary to meet certain goals for funding purposes. Tracking metrics and analytics through social media platforms allow non-profits to see their reach and how people are interacting with posts.
The Social Media and Science Communication Workshop was organized and hosted by Ph.D. student Alex Norelli. Kayla was joined by Dr. Solomon David from Nicholls State University and Brian McNoldy, a senior research associate with the University of Miami. The audience consisted of students, staff, and faculty from the Rosenstiel School (plus a few Miami Waterkeeper staff members!!).