Most natural resource professionals know that one-on-one conversations with landowners are the best way to influence them. This is because we intuitively tailor our conversations to the knowledge level, values, and style of our conversation partners. We mirror their language, reflect their values, and try to build on common ground we share with them.
TELE will help you do the same thing on a larger scale. It offers data and techniques to help you target your outreach activities to specific types of landowners. This will allow you to speak more meaningfully and persuasively to landowners, increasing the chances that they will start some stewardship or conservation activity for their land.
Woodland owners are as diverse as the rest of the population. They have different priorities, beliefs and lifestyles. They have ideas about land ownership and land stewardship. They get their information from different channels and weigh this information.
Rather than using a broad-brush approach that tries to appeal to everyone, TELE uses a methodology called targeted marketing. Targeted marketing means designing communications that bring about a specific behavior change in a selected group of people. It seeks to reach people through their preferred channels, using messages that are most likely to appeal to them based on an understanding of their specific values, preferences, and other characteristics.
Targeted marketing has been successfully applied to many social issues, such as smoking, recycling, and seat belt use. TELE brings the same thinking to natural resource challenges and landowner outreach. It works because it creates specific programs and materials that directly tap the imagination and values of different types of landowners. To read more about the theory behind targeted marketing, also called community based targeted marketing, see our Using TELE page.