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ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI VOTE CONSERVATION – VOTE BU TINAH Inspiring a Nation and beyond to support conservation A case study of the Bu Tinah campaign,

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Presentation on theme: "ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI VOTE CONSERVATION – VOTE BU TINAH Inspiring a Nation and beyond to support conservation A case study of the Bu Tinah campaign,"— Presentation transcript:

1 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI VOTE CONSERVATION – VOTE BU TINAH Inspiring a Nation and beyond to support conservation A case study of the Bu Tinah campaign, runner up in the New7Wonders of Nature competition

2 PAGE 2 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI BACKGROUND TO THE CAMPAIGN Bu Tinah is a unique island and a core zone of the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve, 130 km west of Abu Dhabi. It’s the first marine biosphere reserve in the region (declared in 2001) and as such it is a protected area and closed to the public. So closed off in fact that before the Bu Tinah campaign, many residents of the UAE didn’t know of its existence. The Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve is managed by the team at Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi. In spite of the harsh temperatures and local salinity, Bu Tinah’s habitats and species, including coral reefs, mangroves, flamingoes, dolphins, dugongs, ospreys, the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtles and Socotra Cormorants, all continue to thrive. About Bu Tinah

3 PAGE 3 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI BACKGROUND TO THE CAMPAIGN Bu Tinah was nominated as one of the 440 candidates in the global New 7 Wonders (N7W) of Nature competition. N7W of Nature is part of N7W Foundation which is dedicated to fostering global dialogue and mutual appreciation through worldwide participation in its voting campaigns. The competition was run in stages, with Bu Tinah being voted into the final 77, 28 and then the final 14. In November 2011, Bu Tinah was recognised as an official runner up in the N7W of Nature competition, a huge achievement for a small island that is closed to the public. In 2012, N7W recognised the achievements of the Bu Tinah campaign with the Environmental Consciousness Award - For achieving the highest levels of environmental consciousness in the competition. So how did Bu Tinah overcome the likes of Black Forest, Grand Canyon and Maldives to go from obscurity to global recognition? New7Wonders of Nature competition

4 PAGE 4 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THE CAMPAIGN STRATEGY Many factors were against Bu Tinah: In 2009, the Island was relatively unknown locally never mind globally. Unlike every other of the 28 finalists, Bu Tinah is closed to visitors, so residents of the UAE and global tourists wouldn’t have and will never see it first hand. Although a unique habitat and rich in biodiversity for its location and size, it does not have the environmental legacy of many of the other finalists. And compared to many of the other 28 finalists, the population of Abu Dhabi and the UAE is very small, so our chances of winning through “home” votes alone was minimal. Considerations E. g. Great Barrier Reef 882M, Bu Tinah 99k.

5 PAGE 5 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THE CAMPAIGN STRATEGY However, we were fortunate to have: The endorsement of a member of the Leadership of Abu Dhabi, H.H Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of EAD. Backing from the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi. The support of a title sponsor, TDIC. A dedicated and passionate team within EAD made up of scientists, biologists, marine specialists, communications and campaigns professionals. A team of communications partners as passionate about the cause as EAD staff. Considerations H.H Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of EAD.

6 PAGE 6 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THE CAMPAIGN STRATEGY Our journey begin with extensive research and the campaign strategy formulation phase. As part of this we identified who we wanted to reach (locally, regionally and internationally), how and the desired response. From this, we identified the need to have two clear phases of the Bu Tinah campaign Firstly, to create awareness of Bu Tinah and educate the audience on: a) its environmental value and just why it’s so unique and important (e.g. the varied biodiversity, the important habitats and breading grounds, research etc.) b) Its value with regard to the UAE’s national, natural heritage. We should all be proud of Bu Tinah c) What the N7W of Nature competition is and why it matters. And secondly, once the audience had an understanding of Bu Tinah, to inspire them into action, in this case a connection with Bu Tinah leading to voting. 2 phases, build awareness and inspire action

7 PAGE 7 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THE CAMPAIGN STRATEGY In line with our strategy, we created a brand for Bu Tinah, our key messaging plus all of the campaign creative for phase 1. We also created a comprehensive communications plan for all audience segments. This phase launched in 2010, with a prestigious event at Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi. We then engaged with selected regional and international audiences through an extensive online, PR and ATL campaign. While at home, we took Bu Tinah to the people through a voting roadshow which visited over 100 locations around the UAE. In addition we created and delivered a partner engagement strategy that saw hundreds of influencers, businesses and government entities take on the Bu Tinah cause. Phase 1 - awareness building

8 PAGE 8 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THE CAMPAIGN STRATEGY Phase 1 - awareness building

9 PAGE 9 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THE CAMPAIGN STRATEGY In this phase, the objective was to build on the awareness generated and deliver a tactical campaign to inspire action, in this case a connection with and a vote for Bu Tinah. However, rather than proceed with our original phase 2 strategy formulated at the start of the campaign, there were 2 key factors that led to us re-evaluate our direction and plans. Firstly – N7W extended the competition to finish in November Meaning our communications and budget had to be stretched by an additional 4 months. Secondly – we reviewed and evaluated the feedback and insight that we received from our audiences in phase 1 and utilised this to reformulate our strategy and plan. Over the next few slides we’ll show some of the key take outs from this evolved strategy. Phase 2 – inspiring action

10 PAGE 10 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THE CAMPAIGN STRATEGY Phase 2 – inspiring action What they said (phase 1)What we said (phase 2) We don’t know Bu TinahBu Tinah is unknown because its so unique and so well protected. I haven’t been, why can’t I go?To keep Bu Tinah special, we have to protect and preserve it, EAD and Bu Tinah need your support to do this. It’s just a small island, it can’t be that important? Bu Tinah has local, regional and international significance as a safe habitat for feeding and breeding, a conservation area and natural living laboratory for climate change study. I can’t go to Bu Tinah, I can’t imagine it or the animals. You can’t go to Bu Tinah, but we will bring Bu Tinah to you. Why should I vote for Bu Tinah?A vote for Bu Tinah isn’t just a vote for the island, it’s a vote for conservation, for protecting our world for future generations. 1. We turned our negatives into positives 2. We focused on and celebrated our USP Each of the 28 finalists were compelling, but on one plane, Bu Tinah was and is truly unique. Bu Tinah was not driven by a political or national agenda. Nor was it motivated by commercial gain. Bu Tinah’s goal was and remains different. Conservation – pure and simple.

11 PAGE 11 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THE CAMPAIGN STRATEGY 3. We made it emotional By going beyond just the competition and giving people a real, relevant reason to vote for Bu Tinah – be it pride in our natural heritage, be it to support conservation or be it to protect our future, the campaign created real, tangible relevance and empathy. 4. We made friends, found influencers and created ambassadors We created a broad network of partners, friends and ambassadors (including football teams, government organisations, community groups, twiterati and local celebrities) to help spread the Bu Tinah message. This capacity building was especially helpful to our small team. By aligning ourselves with other well known finalists in the conservation field we were not only able to cement our position in the “competitive” set but we also extended our reach as the other finalists reciprocated our goodwill toward their campaigns and spread our message in return. We created our very own Environmental Ambassador, local celebrity and cultural advisor, Ali Al Saloom, who resonated with locals, expats and international audiences alike. Phase 2 – inspiring action

12 PAGE 12 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THE CAMPAIGN STRATEGY 5. We made the most of being an “under-dog” Internationally, for many voters we were never going to be their first, second… or even fifth choice. However, we didn’t need to be. All online votes (7) were cast equally and so internationally we promoted Bu Tinah as the David among Goliaths, flying the flag for conservation, to capture people’s hearts and be in their voting selection (all be it at the bottom). 6. We used a variety of channels to deliver and amplify our message We strategically made use of a variety of channels to deliver and amplify our message during a concentrated 4 month period for maximum effect. 7. We went beyond just campaign communications to create real, relevant, inspiring content Our research after phase 1 showed us that if we wanted to inspire positive action, we needed to deeply engage with our audience and bring Bu Tinah to life for them and, as they couldn’t go to Bu Tinah, we needed to bring Bu Tinah to them. We did this in a number of ways: - We created a series called “The Environment Show with Ali Al Saloom” of which half of the episodes covered Bu Tinah related topics including Dugongs, Turtles and Flamingoes. Much of which was filmed on Bu Tinah. These were delivered as webisodes and at public screenings. Phase 2 – Inspiring action

13 PAGE 13 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THE CAMPAIGN STRATEGY - We created a number of other films on Bu Tinah, the species and the campaign. These were delivered through social media channels, events and local distribution. - We used social media to reach out to our regional and international audience and delivered a variety of Bu Tinah content including blogs from the biologists and rangers on Bu Tinah to art competitions with conservation themes. - We took Bu Tinah to the people of the UAE through the creation of The Bu Tinah Experience, an interactive, educational center open free to the public for 10 weeks on Abu Dhabi Corniche. - The Bu Tinah Experience was created within a 35 metre high, 55 metre wide geodesic dome and featured a fully functioning turtle rehabilitation pool (23 metrs long) with computerized life support system. It was home to 7 rescued turtles that underwent observation and/or treatment by specialists before being released back into the wild. At the end of the pool, a nursery of 100 mangroves were planted, which were also transferred to a permanent location after the exhibition closed. - In the middle of the dome, a scaled replica model (18m at the longest point) of Bu Tinah island showcased the island and contained life sized representations of 6 of the most important species including a Dugong, a Dolphin, a Socotra Cormorant, an Osprey, a Flamingo and a Hawksbill Turtle, which laid eggs, along with information desks. - In addition, there was a journey of information through the dome, exploring Abu Dhabi’s terrestrial and marine habitats and conservation efforts. Plus, there was a 45 seater cinema showing the Bu Tinah films, The Environment Show and other conservation films. At the exit we place 3 voting booths. Phase 2 – Inspiring action

14 PAGE 14 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THE CAMPAIGN STRATEGY The Bu Tinah Experience provided a excellent focal point for VVIP and celebrity endorsement and was visited by the Leadership of Abu Dhabi and the UAE, which in turn generated even more publicity, coverage and an out pouring of support from the public. H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates with H.E Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak. Secretary General, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi Phase 2 – Inspiring action

15 PAGE 15 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THE CAMPAIGN STRATEGY Quick time movie Phase 2 – The Bu Tinah Experience

16 PAGE 16 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THE RESULTS In the final 3 months of the campaign it achieved: Bu Tinah and EAD conservation efforts discussed at UAE Cabinet level 1.5million facebook messages Consistently in top 10 twitter feeds within UAE 80,000 Bu Tinah Experience visitors A constant presence in UAE media And although N7W do not release the final voting results, we believe (unofficially) that the votes for Bu Tinah were in the region of 2 million in the last month of the campaign. This led to Bu Tinah being voted from the 28 finalists into the final 14. In 2012, N7W recognised the achievements of the Bu Tinah campaign within the broader environmental awareness context and awarded EAD with: The Environmental Consciousness Award For achieving the highest levels of environmental consciousness in the competition. The Bu Tinah competition concluded on 11/11/11

17 PAGE 17 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THE RESULTS In November 2011, EAD conducted a survey among visitors to The Bu Tinah Experience and found: The overwhelming majority believe that the Bu Tinah campaign helped raise awareness of the country’s natural heritage, and that it also motivated them to lead more environmentally-friendly lifestyles. 94% said the campaign educated them about the environment. 88% reported that the Bu Tinah campaign helped them think about the environment and what they can do to help it. While 93% said that they will now do more to look after it. The lasting measure of the campaign’s success

18 PAGE 18 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI KEY TAKE OUTS Don’t build your campaign in a vacuum. Understand your audience, what drives, triggers and inhibits behaviour change. Constantly evaluate and evolve your campaign, don’t be afraid of change. Talk to hearts as well as minds. Understand your audience, the channels to reach them and how to amplify your messages. Build capacity through building your network. Make your campaign relevant to your audience. Deliver more than just messages. Understand what interests them and use this. We found social media a really effective tool for spreading our message, delivering content and engaging with our audience. From the Bu Tinah campaign

19 PAGE 19 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – ABU DHABI THANK YOU


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