Marketers change the story of Conservation

Posted on Sep 08, 2017

Marketers change the story of Conservation News Post Image

Photo credit: Gaby Salazar

Have you been put off by the doom and gloom messages bombarding us about saving the planet? Many others have wondered if there is a better way to engage people in wildlife conservation and as a result have created the Conservation Optimism Movement to explore the role for positive messaging in conservation.

Earlier this year we engaged marketers in supporting the Conversation Optimism Summit to help with this refreshing challenge.

The Summit, which was a joint venture between Oxford University, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, brought together people from the worlds of conservation, government, industry, NGOs and academia to highlight ways to get behind a new, positive way of thinking about conservation.

Rosie Hancock-Pook, a communications professional and Conservation Science Postgraduate student at Imperial College London lead a workshop with marketers and conservation professionals from Durrell as part of the Summit. The aim of the workshop was to develop creative strategies for using positive messages to engage support for wildlife conservation.

Through our partnership with the marketing recruitment firm EMR we invited senior marketers to join in to help ‘sell’ Conservation Optimism. Lindsey Hoyle, Director of Salt House Marketing, joined in to contribute her expertise in brand development and digital marketing to the workshop. And the team at Ogilvy Change also participated in sharing how behavioural economics can be used to support positive messaging in conversation.

Rosie said “Conservation is too often seen as a crisis discipline, one in which bad news predominates. Although nature is facing huge challenges, we feel there are many positive stories out there where conservation has made a difference to people’s lives and to the status of wild nature.” 

The two hour workshop session involved inspirational presentations and the creative development of ideas to support the conservation industry in ‘selling’ positivity to the public.

Rosie shared, “Lindsey was a great addition to the session. Her expertise, kindness and time were so appreciated and the attendees of the session got a lot out of her ideas.

We were also all hugely inspired by the Ogilvy Change talk and wished that we could continue to work with the team!”

Ogilvy Change supports Conservation Optimism

One of the charities playing a lead role in the Conversation Optimism Movement is Durrell, which operate approximately 50 conservation projects around the world as well as running Jersey Zoo, the first zoo created entirely to save threatened species from extinction.

Durrell was chosen to work with the Ogilvy Change summer school as part of our annual collaboration with them. And Durrell is using this opportunity to take the work from the Summit forwards with the help of Ogilvy Change and their summer school.

We’ll report back more on their progress as they develop campaigns to measure and share the successes of positive messaging in conversation. And Durrell and Ogilvy will also share the results from their work with the rest of the Conservation Optimism Movement, so that any interested organisation can understand how best to change the way people see and engage with wildlife conservation.

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