CASE STUDY
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
Climate Change Program

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PROJECT:
Global Environmental Policy Advocacy Campaign 
KEY OUTCOMES
  • In just over a year, volunteer WWF national office participation in the Climate Change Campaign grew from approximately four to 18 WWF offices.

  • At the United Nations Kyoto, Japan Climate Change Summit, a multi-lingual global publicity effort resulted in more news stories around the world than WWF 

       previously had ever received as result of its participation in an international environmental conference.

  • Each “Climate Change Impacts” report generated large news media coverage in radio, print and television in the United States and other target nations over a two-year period. For example, the release of the “North American Parks — Climate Change Impacts” report resulted in news stories around the world and significantly helped to influence public policy. On the day the report was released, ABC TV “World News Tonight” covered it. The story immediately prompted a direct inquiry from the White House to the campaign for more information that was subsequently integrated into the President’s speech before the United Nations Earth Summit the following day.

  • Devised special events that attracted large news media attendance. For example, the announcement of a WWF “Gift to the Earth” to combat climate change and the simultaneous release of the “State of the Climate Report.” The special event hosted at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, attracted some 50 journalists from news organizations worldwide to a “standing room only” news conference.

  • Over a two-year period, literally hundreds of news stories were published and broadcast by news media organizations in some two-dozen nations.

  • In many targeted nations, significant progress was made in setting stricter emissions standards and promoting the utilization of more environmentally sound energy technologies.

CLIENT TESTIMONIAL

Liz Foley, former WWF international communications manager

 

"Writing a recommendation for Gisele comes easily. She is one of the most professional, energetic and intelligent communications leaders I've had the privilege of working with. While with WWF International, Gisele lead the Climate Change initiative, effortlessly guiding a team of communications managers in some 26+ countries, producing collateral for the global media in multiple languages, while synthesizing often difficult to understand technical concepts relating to climate change.  

I know Gisele to be an energy tour de force, whose knowledge of global news media enables her to create and execute strategic communications plans that consistently generate worldwide media placement, but more importantly connect with and start conversations among key policy influencers. Her breadth of knowledge--climate change, global health, disaster relief--and decades of experience with the NGO universe would surely make her an asset to any organization."

THE CHALLENGE

Create and implement an international communications effort to heighten public awareness and coalesce multi-national support for an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a key cause of climate change.

ACTIVITIES
  • Conducted a series of surveys and focus groups to (1) ascertain the understanding of climate change among target audiences and (2) develop key messages that resonate with target audiences.

  • Coalesced an informal group of WWF communications specialists from WWF national offices around the world to integrate the climate change campaign into the annual work plans. First, the group was asked to brainstorm strategies and tactics for the international communications plan. Next, the resources and training needs of each communications specialist were determined. Conferences around the world were organized to facilitate networking among national communicators within the same region of the globe. The conferences also offered communications trainings and constructive debate.

  • Created and distributed to communications specialists at all WWF national offices a comprehensive “Climate Change Campaign” communications kit. The kit included all communications specialists would need to promote the climate change campaign within their country including: a strategic plan, key campaign messages, artwork for postcards and poster ads, copy radio news releases, pre-packaged video news releases, sample fundraising letters, ideas for special events to attract news media attention, and more.

  • Produced and implemented an international communications plan that offered strategies, key messages, and images that were consistent enough to adequately “brand” the initiative — and simultaneously flexible enough to be translated and utilized by any WWF national office.

  • Planned, edited, designed, and disseminated a series of scientific “Climate Change Impacts” reports that were released to the news media during regular U.N. meetings leading up to a major conference in Kyoto, Japan.