WFN Tamariska Orangutan

Nature conservationists honoured in global awards

A successful media relations strategy managed by Liquid played a key role in raising the profile of a conservation charity’s annual awards.

Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) celebrated the achievements of six global campaigners in a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

The awards night, attended by charity patron HRH The Princess Royal, saw the winners join Whitley’s network of more than 200 conservation champions, whose grassroots organisations have received more than £16 million in funding since the charity’s launch in 1993.

During awards week, the winners had the opportunity to speak to media and raise awareness of their projects. Liquid secured broadcast interviews on BBC Radio 4’s Today and Costing the Earth programmes as well as the BBC World Service.

Schedules for the week were incredibly busy; timings and organisation were key. Liquid worked closely with the media and each of the winners to set up interviews with titles such as The Telegraph, BBC Online, The Independent, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Geographical Magazine and National Geographic.

Gold award-winner Jon Paul Rodriguez, who won £60,000 in funding for Venezuela’s yellow-shouldered parrots, trended on Twitter in Caracas and Instagram posts about the ceremony on the Royal Family’s account attracted more than 50,000 likes.

All the winners were briefed by Liquid before each media opportunity and WFN’s key messages were weaved into the brief. We produced bespoke press releases that were distributed to international media with a selection of stunning photography.

This is the second year Liquid has worked with WFN, adopting an integrated approach to PR that includes management of the charity’s social media channels. For the @WhitleyAwards Instagram page, we designed a grid layout to announce each of the finalists during the countdown to the awards. Liquid’s in-house design studio produced a special booklet that was distributed during the ceremony.

Our approach went beyond traditional media engagement. It is essential the Whitley winners influence decision-makers in their home countries, so an invitation was extended to ambassadors and representatives from each of their countries to promote relationships. Through proactive stakeholder relations, previous award-winners have helped to change laws and influence government policy to help the protection of fragile habitats.

Chloe Baker, account manager