The Doomsday Clock Reads 5 Minutes to Midnight

The Doomsday Clock Reads 5 Minutes to MidnightThere’s no more powerful visual symbol than a clock, particularly when it’s ticking. And The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) has used it well, telling  the world what time it is — doomsday-wise — since 1947, when its famous clock first appeared on the Bulletin’s cover to reflect the potential for catastrophic damage from human-made technologies

Since then, the Doomsday Clock has been adjusted only 17 times prior to today, most recently after the events of 9/11. But today the clock jumps two minutes forward — to five minutes to midnight — to reflect two major sources of catastrophe: The perils of 27,000 nuclear weapons, 2,000 of them ready to launch within minutes; and the destruction of human habitats from climate change. The end of civilization as we know it grows nearer.

Take a cue from the BAS communications campaign around this jump forward. Effective components (all clearly and succinctly written, stressing the opportunity for improvement rather than the need for fear) include:

BAS has done a great job of getting attention for the Doomsday Clock. Let’s hope it helps us find a way to push back time.

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Nancy Schwartz on January 17, 2007 in Case Studies, Nonprofit Communications | 1 comment

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