AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS, EXPLODING SCIENCE SHOWS AND AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM…
During thirty years, Green Spark's team members have been privileged to work on all sorts of inspiring, cutting edge, challenging, fun, serious and generally uplifting projects. Most of all, we’ve loved the people we’ve worked with: passionate communities, far-sighted entrepreneurs, laterally-thinking business people, leading NGOs, talented journalists and green-minded politicians.
Our roll-call of projects includes:
Rob Hopkins in inspirational mood
Planning the future... An evening’s celebration addressed by Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the global Transition movement and leading environmentalist, was the culmination of four months of work with volunteer-led organisation, Transition Stroud. We helped to increase members' regular donations by 100% and to review its past and present leading to a new marketing strategy. The ‘Transition Stroud: 10 years and beyond’ event we organised enabled deeper relations to be forged with supporters, inspiring them with past achievements and channelling their revived enthusiasm into planning the organisation’s next 10 years.
Delegates discovering the latest in tracking and monitoring technology
Email marketing for an international conference... When training and research company, ERT Conservation, organised the world’s first spatial ecology and conservation conference at the University of Birmingham, it decided that an accompanying trade fair was needed to help the 250+ delegates source the most up-to-date technology and equipment necessary for their work. Our effective PR approach of no-waffle cold calling and a carefully crafted email marketing campaign led to a successful trade fair which we were asked to organise for the following year's conference. Ecologists from over 20 countries around the world were able to discover the latest state-of-the-art software and equipment enabling them to more effectively discover and monitor wildlife populations. The money paid by exhibitors to attend the trade fair funded the travelling costs of conference delegates from poorer countries.
Fran Scott (right), resident scientist on BBC's children's channel, CBBC, involves an audience member in lively experiments!
Adding fun to a festival... How do you reverse the public's impression that 'manufacturing is oily, smelly and dirty' to reveal the fascination of manufacturing and engineering, and persuade youngsters that they're exciting career choices? This was the goal of Festomane, the festival of manufacturing and engineering, with its annual week-long festival organised by a partnership of companies (national and local), tertiary educational establishments, industry bodies and the local MP. Our fresh approach to its PR and publicity re-vamped the day-long public expo to include celebrity scientists performing their entertaining shows (with explosions, of course!), along with exhibitors offering plenty of hands-on experiments and showcasing the latest innovations such as waterless cleaning and poo-powered vehicles (yes, really). Extensive media coverage and distribution of publicity material through civic networks saw visitor numbers increase five-fold. “It was better than going to the Science Museum” commented one satisfied mum. "Thanks for doing such a good job with the PR, it’s been great for us" a newspaper editor told us.
Some of the Pondwatch tools used to publicise the plight of ponds in the UK
Alerting a nation... When research suggested that 75% of wildlife ponds in the countryside had disappeared or become seriously degraded, The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust wanted to alert the country to what was happening. The Pondwatch campaign inspired people to care for existing ponds or create new ones, and to discover the delights of the wildlife living in or depending upon ponds for survival. A fun educational pack, factsheets, a national pond survey, events at Trust centres, an annual UK-wide pond competition and a national pond conference opened by the then Environment Minister all combined to shoot the problem into the consciousness of the nation. Prof Chris Baines, who led the modern wildlife gardening movement, was the campaign's figurehead. Extensive publicity included Blue Peter, Gardeners' World, BBC Radio 2, Today programme on BBC Radio 4, national newspapers, local and regional media, and articles in both specialist and general interest magazines. The campaign's database amassed the names of 53,000 people promising to care for and protect wildlife ponds.
Strategies for success... Changes in Governmental policy and significant reductions in renewable energy Feed-In Tariffs led to the need to re-assess the work direction and priorities of energy advice company, Wattcraft. Green Spark worked with staff at Wattcraft to take a step back and reveiw what it was offering, identifying its USPs, strengths and the market opportunities to produce a marketing strategy that is helping the company stride forward again.
Although the founder and director of eco-cleaning company, Wendy Goes Green, can eloquently promote her company verbally, translating this passion into words and publicity was proving more tricky. We helped her to clarify the company's key messages that she really wanted people to understand. Together, we created the framework within which to build the in-depth story and PR strategy which would persuade people to hire its services.
Wildlife postcards distributed monthly at the local supermarket let everyone get involved in recording Cam's wildlife
Building partnerships for parish action... Since the 1800s, Cam village has nestled in the foothills of the Cotswold escarpment, yet its close proximity to the M5 is leading to increasing development pressures and a population that tops over 7,000. The parish council were very concerned this would destroy important wildlife sites and cause environmental deterioration. To address these problems, we built partnerships consisting of different interest groups and networks to create a holistic, parish-wide plan for discovering and protecting local biodiversity. We used a wide-range of techniques to promote the project and get people involved, such as: illustrated wildlife postcards distributed through the local supermarket, community artists and theatre companies, community consultation at the supermarket and at key parish events, the Cam Domesday Book of Wildlife, fun family days, talks and walks, the Cam parish map, the Cam Pond Web, and more. The Cam Wildlife Map, made by residents surveying and recording the parish's natural history, was one of the tools used during a big parish council organised community planning event to assess the Local Plan's proposed sites for new housing and development.
Journalism.... BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Gloucestershire Country Matters, Cam FM, Mark Cummings show