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Digital Crisis Communications


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Veera Juvonen talked about how a peaceful protest against oil drilling in the Arctic sea turned into the most engaging campaign in Greenpeace's history.

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Digital Crisis Communications

  1. 1. WHEN CONFRONTING A CRIME MAKES YOU THE CRIMINAL Photo (C) Greenpeace / Denis Sinyakov 18/9/2013
  2. 2. Digital Crisis Communications Case #FreeTheArctic30 By Veera Juvonen, Digital Lead of Greenpeace’s Arctic Ship Tour “Confronting Arctic Oil” 2013 2 PHOTO CREDITS CREENPEACE
  3. 3. Content A story with a happy ending Digital crisis response Consequences Learnings Me.
  4. 4. A story with a happy ending “We believe that oil drilling in the Arctic is an imminent threat to the environment there and to the climate globally. We have now entered the Russian Arctic preparing peaceful protest against the reckless oil industry.” -August 11th, 2013
  5. 5. 30 people of 18 nationalities onboard, of which 2 photojournalists and 4 climbers, sailed to protest against Russian oil giant Gazprom’s Arctic oil drilling.
  6. 6. Sept 2013: The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise was illegally boarded by armed RussianCoast Guard in international waters, and towed to shore.
  7. 7. The crew of 30 were arrested, accused of hooliganism and piracy, facing 15 years in jail. Bail hearings were held in Murmansk, Russia.
  8. 8. November 2013: 263 cities protest as Arctic30 have been held two months in prison.
  9. 9. An 18 page petition, signed by Russian journalists was presented to the judge before the hearing, demanding the release of the photojournalist Denis Sinyakov.
  10. 10. The Russian parliament agreed to include the Arctic30 in an amnesty - for a crime they didn’t commit.
  11. 11. Crisis Response 100 HOUR RAPID RESPONSE PLAN Extended into communicating over an unknown time Detention period ended up lasting 3 months How to keep up the interest?
  12. 12. Digital Comms • Mobilising a global movement to protect the Arctic and the right to peaceful protest • SoMe: #FreeTheArctic30 • Petition to pressure Russian Embassies to free the Arctic30
  13. 13. Digital resources • Occupying the Comms meeting in Holland • Core team assembled to a crisis management centre in Copenhagen • Digital Lead strategist + 2 digital managers to handle daily output and material distribution in the EU timezone • 24h voluntary-based digital shift schedule to cover digital distribution in all timezones
  14. 14. Motivate
  15. 15. Seize the moment
  16. 16. Sometimes stories just fall in your lap 18.10.2013 CCTV of six masked men entering the grounds of Greenpeace's Murmansk office, on the night that a mock 'cage', which was going to be used to highlight the injustice of the Arctic 30's imprisonment during a solidarity protest in Murmansk, was stolen from the grounds.
  17. 17. Involve 7.11.2013
  18. 18. Let the stars shine
  19. 19. Showcase 3rd party support
  20. 20. Commission ART
  21. 21. Question the accusations
  22. 22. Let SoMe do its share
  23. 23. Portray the people
  24. 24. Create heroes
  25. 25. It’s a long story… June 2014 Arctic Sunrise was to be released > fundraising to fix the ship Aug 2014 Arctic Sunrise returns to Holland > Arctic30 meeting Sept 2014 Arctic30 anniversary. Showing solidarity of others being persecuted for peaceful activism. Oct 2014 The media interest on the released activists keeps up
  26. 26. The following is based on a true story Are you interested in volunteering for Greenpeace?
  27. 27. Consequences Exponentially heightened media attention Heightened interest to volunteer for Greenpeace 2 million petition signatures - More than ever - Quicker than ever
  28. 28. Long-term consequences 92% growth in visits to Greenpeace websites worldwide within a year Upcoming: Movie “Black Ice” and a book
  29. 29. Evaluation learnings • Gather 3rd party support and use all networks available. • Plan HR. • Include adequate, committed, named human resources already in the campaign planning phase. • In case of key people being unavailable, find adequate substitutes or scale down, or cancel the project. • Appoint only people with crisis response experience in leadership roles. • Briefings must set out the worst-case scenarios and consequences, no matter how unlikely they seem. • Detailed contingency plans should cover the first 5 days. • Set up command and control structure with crystal-clear chain of decision-makers. • Share and train user-friendly crisis management guidelines and protocols to staff.
  30. 30. This presentation is made by… • Veera Juvonen • Former Digital Marketing Manager of Greenpeace Nordic • Global Digital Lead of Greenpeace’s Arctic Ship Tour in 2014, known as #FreeTheArctic30 • Entrepreneur and digital activist, designing digital strategies for a better world • Mail • Twitter veerajuvonen