National Park Service: Safety at Yellowstone National Park
The National Park Service (NPS) is assigned the responsibility of managing national parks, historical property, national monuments and such other conservancies by the U.S. federal government. Its primary duties include protection of the park and its visitors, maintenance, recreation and marketing of the country's beautiful natural resources. However, national park rangers and other employees often have to deal with various obstacles in their quest for smooth interactions between citizens and nature. This text presents various challenges faced by Yellowstone National Park. It is based on an inspiring story of Ranger Anny Pidgin, who was passionate about national parks from a young age and explains various experiences by visitors at the park.
The main communication challenge facing the NPS with respect to visitors of Yellowstone National Park
The main communication challenge faced by the NPS is how to express the importance of all rules, regulations, notices, and signs that are placed strategically in various national parks and to warn the visitors of the grave danger they expose themselves to if they continue ignoring them, as they often do. As the signage in Yellowstone increased due to numerous injuries in the park, the number of accidents also increased as the visitors continued to stream in. For instance, there were multiple signs around Giantess Geyser but a young boy managed to break through the formations and later secured serious burn injuries on his feet (xxx). (xxx) also gives another example of Engine Walker and his friend Phillip Bradberry, who skipped the interactions with rangers and consequently failed to receive the required literature with rules and regulations. They went ahead to camp at an illegal section and as a result, Walker was attacked and killed by a grizzly bear.
Different types of social influence
The mere presence effect describes the tendency of people to perform simple tasks better when in the presence of others. Conformity, on the other hand, describes the tendency to change attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs in order to fit in a particular group. Compliance describes the act of adhering to rules or carrying out requests that may be offered by other people. One does what they are requested to do although they may disagree with the idea.
Which one do you believe to be most relevant to the communication challenges faced by the NPS in the above scenario? Why?
The most relevant social influence in this scenario is compliance. This is because private needs sometimes have to be put aside for the well-being of the public in national parks. Compliance requires an individual to submit to people in authority (Coon and Mitterer, 2013). Yellowstone's management and employees know what is best for the visitors when they lay out the rules and regulations, and hence should require all readers to obey, regardless of their personal needs and intentions.
One example of visitors engaging in undesirable behavior
(xxx) describes one example of visitors who did not understand the realities of the dangers that they were warned about in a sign. In this case, David Kirwan and his friend Ronald Ratliff were well aware that the hot springs they were admiring were very dangerous. However, when Ratliff's dog jumped into the hot springs, to the utter disbelief of fellow visitors who warned him against it, Kirwan decided to dive headfirst into the hot spring to save it. Sadly Kirwan acquired third degree burns and passed away the following morning. Rangers also found a stack of safety pamphlets and literature in their car that had not been opened.
A messaging strategy that NPS can use to discourage…
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