Dallin Worthington – Idaho River Conservation

Strategic Organizational Communications

Project Summary

My goal in fulfilling this project was for me to be able to get my opinions about what needs to be done to conserve Idaho rivers to local people, so people know how important preserving them is. Southeast Idaho is one of the most underrated places in the country and much of what makes it that way is the rivers that feed the landscape. I wrote conservation articles for major rivers in Southeastern Idaho and promoted them on an Instagram I created called conserve_idaho_rivers. I am a fisherman which made me write passionately about these topics, but to my disappointment, very few people followed that account and most of those who did follow it were my close friend who were trying to support me. The following I gained from those people were appreciated but most were not local to Southeast Idaho, so their awareness does not contribute to the cause I am trying to fulfill.

With new motivation born out of discouragement, I gathered a few of the articles I knew were my best work and sent them off to popular conservation websites. Much to my surprise, one of them read my article and responded to my email. A representative from the Idaho chapter of Trout Unlimited, one of the most popular water conservation organizations, read my article and responded to my email. My article about the Teton River is now a finalist to be featured on their guest blog posting spot on Trout Unlimited for the month of June.

What Communications Skills Were Applied?

The main workload of this project was writing. Studying communications for the last four years provided me with lots of practice writing, but it did not provide me with writing opportunities for topics I am passionate about. The senior project allowed me to write and work on whatever I wanted, and it presented challenges that I did not foresee. Writing about a passion was not easy, but it helped me become disciplined at appealing to logic instead of emotion.

Email correspondence with several conservation organizations forced me to show the professionalism that would help them want to use my articles. I sent and received more than 30 emails during this and each one required careful consideration. I learned how to run a social media page throughout the course of this project as well. I put portions of every article on my project Instagram profile called conserve_idaho_rivers. With these posts, I would add pictures I had taken of the river and put a caption that captured both the image and the article.

This project taught me so much and provided ample opportunity to apply what I have learned here over the last four years.

Example Of One Article

Time Allotment

  • Writing articles: 29 hours
  • Gathering images: 18 hours
  • Organizing and running the social media: 6 hours
  • Corresponding with conservationists: 6 hours