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Securing national commitments

Public campaigning as a tool for ocean diplomacy.

Securing national commitments

We worked with the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy to change the narrative around the ocean ahead of the UN Ocean Conference 2020, and sell policymakers on the need for their countries to sign up to the Panel’s policy proposals.

The Ocean Panel, run by a secretariat at the {WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE}, wanted to tell a story centred on the 14 world leaders who had committed to 100% sustainable management of the ocean under national jurisdiction. The goal was to broaden that coalition.

We developed the strategy for the campaign, including the narrative and campaign identity: ‘Give It 100%’. Key to the strategy was understanding the relationships that different national cultures have with the ocean. Some have a very economic relationship to it (transport, ocean-based industry). Others much more spiritual. To secure buy-in from the 14 countries, we needed the campaign concept to speak to them no matter their relationship to the ocean. Qualitative research was our best friend.

With the strategy, framing, and messaging in place, we produced a bank of campaign content – including graphics, threads, GIFs – which spoke to both the factual and emotional sides of the story, as well as advising on paid advertising, influencer engagement, and providing daily monitoring reports during the launch phase.

The campaign generated significant online and media engagement, and in combination with the Ocean Panel team’s impressive diplomacy, resulted in 5 new countries enquiring about becoming members of the Panel, and signing up to the commitments to a sustainable ocean economy.

I’ll never forget pitching in the Give It 100% concept, saying ‘can’t you just imagine Trudeau saying this to the world?’ And now Trudeau is saying this to the world. I hope you are proud of the role you have played. Whatever happens, glad to be in it with all of you!

Amy Hemingway Communications Lead

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