CO2GS is presently very little known by the public at large, and thus we have the opportunity to work on its potential image to facilitate its understanding and acceptance. Working on the image implies the identification of the core aspects that qualify a certain subject and the communication goals to be pursued. (Vercelli, 1989).
The image of a given subject is formed both on available information and on the attitude that the object stimulates in the receiver. The first response of the receiver to the image subject can be positive or negative, depending on the feeling and the affective encoding that will be activated. It is very important to get a positive reaction when first contact with the subject takes place. A positive reaction opens the way to further communication, to the demand for more information, to the gradual construction of a relation with the subject that can evolve in time. To summarise we could describe the positive attitude as "tell me more".
On the other hand, if the first reaction is negative, it will be very difficult to change it, as a negative reaction is bound to activate defences toward something which is regarded as inimical. If the first feeling when coming in contact with the given subject is unpleasant, then any further information might not be taken into account. Thus we could describe the negative attitude as "I'm not interested".
So, the first and fundamental goal is to find a formula to present our subject in such a way that the majority of people will react wanting to know more.
Our message should be:
• Easy: anybody can feel involved
• Simple: anybody can understand (language).
As we said before the matter we are working on is particularly complex and relatively unknown by the majority of people. At present we can study the image of CO2GS in the scientific community, looking at some stakeholders which have already been involved (like some environmentalist associations) in those areas where it has already been implemented and in the natural analogues areas . This kind of work will enable us to identify the core aspects that characterise CO2GS with respect to the way people think and feel about it.
At the same time, the fact itself of conducting this kind of study provides a new context within which the feelings and thoughts related to CO2GS enter into a process of psycho-social elaboration.
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