Post by Vanessa Rossi, Account Executive, Ogilvy Action
BirdLife International is the world’s largest partnership of local Civil Society Organisations actively engaged in the conservation of birds, their habitats and global biodiversity. Herlinde Herpoel, a representative from the European Division, one of the six BirdLife regional offices, attended a session at the Idea Shop with the hope that we would, together, brainstorm some ideas for future campaigns.
Upon research into the organisation, we were surprised to discover the magnitude of the current project. But why was the organisation not more familiar with the mainstream audience? It quickly became apparent that one issue BirdLife was facing was a lack of strong branding. As BirdLife has grown through partnerships, such as the NSPCC in the UK, the brand gets lost amidst the partner company in each end market. We recommended that BirdLife act upon this and ensure there are rules around their brand that requests a larger presence on printed materials and events organised by both themselves and their partners.
To be successful and meet their objectives, they are keen to attract not only a bird savvy audience (which they already have strong links with) but also a more family friendly audience. With the International Year of the Forrest starting in 2011, BirdLife are keen to plan events and restructure their marketing campaign around this key year. This is a fantastic idea; using forests, that so many hold dear to them, to educate their audience on matters related to birds will assist in drawing in a wider audience.
We found that their website was quite ‘dated’ and rather technical, and that this in turn might discourage a wider audience from perusing the site. In the interest of not losing an already wide audience, Herlinde recommended that a steer away from the technical on the website will distance their current members. As a result, we began to brainstorm ideas around blog themes and games that would attract and educate a wider audience. A family audience will be attracted to fun and educational games about the wildlife that surrounds them.
BirdLife was keen to consider a long-term corporate partnership in order to help broaden their reach. This would have to be a ‘European’ brand to cover all the countries they have partners in. We recommended that they focus on brands that take care in the environment, that require more trees to continue with their business. Although we had a long list of proposals for the UK, finding an environmentally friendly international brand which did not currently sponsor a cause would take some further research. Herlinde however seemed quite content that we had steered her in the right direction.
Finally, BirdLife are keen to produce an annual fundraising event. They have a fantastic list of contacts from the European Parliament that are members of the organisation. It was clear that with such high profile interested parties, a fundraiser event based near the European Parliament would be great for attracting heads of companies and generating some PR. With such a list of potential invitees, Herlinde was keen to begin planning the event as soon as possible bearing in mind the busy diaries of her guests.
Much was covered in this short 90 minute meeting. With so many potential projects to consider our guest was seeking guidance as to what options were available. Although Herlinde had already had some great ideas and plans for their marketing strategy, she now said she felt much more confident with her future plans and felt she had more direction.
You can support BirdLife at www.birdlife.org/