AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS, EXPLODING SCIENCE SHOWS AND AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM, ALL IN THE CAUSE OF SUSTAINABILITY...
During the past 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 helping to make our society greener and fairer. 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, enabling us to create a new marketing strategy for increasing its profile and achieving more sustainability goals. 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 a 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 repeat the following year. Ecologists from more than 20 countries around the world were able to discover the latest state-of-the-art software and equipment to help them discover and monitor wildlife populations more effectively. 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... The Festomane Festival of Manufacturing and Engineering had the modest (?!) ambition of reversing the public's impression that 'manufacturing is oily, smelly and dirty' and to persuade young people that these are exciting career choices. It was organised by a partnership of companies (both multi-national and local), tertiary educational establishments, industry societies 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!), plus 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” one satisfied mum told us. A newspaper editor commented "Thanks for doing such a good job with the PR, it’s been great for us" .
Some of the many Pondwatch tools used to publicise the plight of ponds in the UK
Alerting a nation... Research indicating that 75% of wildlife ponds in the countryside had disappeared or become seriously degraded, spurred The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust 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 pond wildlife. The combination of wide-ranging publicity and educational tools - such as an annual UK-wide pond competition, a national pond conference opened by the then Environment Minister, extensive media coverage, fun educational packs and factsheets, events at Trust centres, and a national pond survey - shot the problem into the consciousness of the nation and created a database of 53,000 people promising to care for and protect wildlife ponds. Prof Chris Baines, who created the modern wildlife gardening movement, headed the campaign. Media coverage included Blue Peter, Gardeners' World, BBC Radio 2, the 'Today' programme on BBC Radio 4, national newspapers, local and regional media, and articles in both specialist and general interest magazines.
Strategies for success... 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 key messages about the company 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.
Changes in Governmental policy and significant reductions in renewable energy Feed-In Tariffs led to the need for energy advice company, Wattcraft, to re-assess its work direction and priorities. Green Spark worked with staff at the company 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.
Using PR to meet commercial targets... A thriving local economy is a cornerstone to a sustainable society and credit unions play an important part in building such foundations. They also seem to be a well-kept secret and Stroud Valleys Credit Union's volume of customers wasn't matching its capacity for providing financial support. Hence the PR brief was to double the volume of loans given out. We harnessed current affairs, domestic events, and the company's 20th birthday to generate a string of press stories generating plenty of media coverage as well as content for the credit union's social media platforms. A new suite of professional yet friendly marketing materials was designed to re-inforce the message that the credit union is an ethical and safe alternative to the normal high street financial institutions.
Wildlife postcards distributed monthly at the local supermarket let everyone get involved in recording Cam's wildlife
Building partnerships for action... Protecting important wildlife sites and preventing deterioration of its rural environment were the concerns of Cam parish council when faced with increasing development pressures on the parish. The brief was to mobilise residents to discover and care for the wildlife that shares their parish. Partnership-building brought together all sorts of groups - neighbourhood associations, churches, schools, specialist interest groups, business groups, farmers and civic networks as well as interested residents. The techniques used to inspire involvement were many and varied: community theatre companies and artists, community consultation at the supermarket and parish events, an attitudinal survey focusing on use of greenspaces, the Cam Domesday Book of Wildlife, illustrated wildlife postcards distributed through the local supermarket, fun family days, talks and walks, a parish map, and lots more. All this generated continuous media coverage, topped off with Cam FM - a parish radio station organised by a group of enthusiastic residents we trained.
Broadcasting our love of the natural world... The journalistic experience within our team covers both the national and the local: as producer of a weekly news programme about natural history for BBC Radio 4, and as a reporter for The Radio Academy award-winning 'Country Matters' rural affairs and countryside programme on BBC Radio Gloucestershire. Our chief exec still keeps her hand once a month by assisting Radio Gloucestershire's Mark Cummings to host the breakfast news show. Bringing journalism right down to the grassroots level was Cam FM, a community radio station broadcasting to over 7,000 residents of Cam parish (and a bit further afield it turned out). This was a hugely enjoyable and slightly unpredictable experience says our team member who trained over 45 residents with no previous radio experience to make programmes from news shows to country & western music. It proved an excellent way to bring sustainability topics to the attention of people not normally considering themselves as 'green'.
Why not give us a call? Whether you're corporate or charitable, small, medium or large, we'd love to help you achieve your goals and make a difference for both you and the planet. To see if we can help you, simply ring us for an informal chat on 07894 663436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with a time when we can call you.