Monday, November 13, 2023
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Audience Responses to Health and Risk Message Strategies Used in Climate Change YouTube Videos
Session ID
A2 - Lightning: Improving Community Resilience through Sustainability + Adaptation
Climate Change
Richard Amoako

Modern technology allows organizations and individuals to pilot climate change campaigns on digital platforms with effective message strategies prevalent in visual imagery. In environmental health, digital communication strategies are critical for increasing audience engagement and responses. Several studies have found that effective messaging strategies in visual messages created on interactive online platforms can increase engagement. The current study furthers previous research on the visual representation of message frames commonly used in climate change messages by analyzing audience responses to different message strategies and frames prevalent in climate change videos. Focusing on message frames prominent in climate change literature, this content-analytic study examines 100 climate change videos published on YouTube by individuals, nonprofits, government, and international agencies, including the United Nations Environmental Programme and the World Health Organization. The study aims to explore the message appeals—including emotional appeals—and message framing techniques (gain and loss frames, health) commonly used in climate change video messaging to create awareness and engagement towards climate action. To predict attitudes and behavior toward climate action, YouTube's interactive audience response mechanisms (number of views, viewer ratings, and comments) are linked to these message characteristics to capture message reach, viewer preferences, and engagement using literature from message framing and prospect theory. The author expects health framing to be an impactful message strategy that generates a positive audience response toward climate action. The author also anticipates a negative relationship between gain framing and a positive relationship between loss framing and viewer responses ( number of views, likes, and number comments). A positive relationship between gain frames and supportive comments is also expected. Comparatively, I expect loss frames to generate more negative comments than loss frames. Theoretical and practical implications for creating climate change videos with effective message strategies with directions for future research are discussed.

Supporting Document 1