Integration Afternoon (5 of 7) RSPB Letter to the Future 6 july 2010


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Karen Rothwell, Director of Marketing, RSPB presents Letter to the Future case study

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  • Integration not new to us – years and years of combining advocacy campaigns with appeals and lead-generation/conversion. But LTTF campaign our biggest to date – and the only one that started from a brand development point, not fundraising or advocacy.
  • Against backdrop of a failure to halt biodiversity loss, and even bigger catastrophe threatened by failure to deal with climate change...comes the recession. Billions being spent - creating huge deficit that would impact future generations. Some of it detrimental to the future eg scrappage scheme. Advocacy driver to demand that some of the billions spent on keeping nature in our world and tackling climate change. And not to sacrifice these when the cuts come. This kind of high profile message spot on for brand development - RSPB not a bird club, but a movement for delivering for all nature and on a wider environmental agenda. Getting an accurate message out there would bring income benefits too – aiming for non-supporter sign-ups for conversion, and financial support from members. Alan Clayton’s spark of genius – he put these all together. Saw the wood for the trees.
  • Here’s an example concept from the original presentation – articulates the rational proposition and the emotional presentation. Emotional brand development about bringing green issues close to home – through children. What kind of world will we leave to them? Knew it was big and exciting – and new – and had to get Conservation and PAs Directors, and HOD sust devt and PR excited too. TGA worked up creatives and pitched to this small but important group. Excitement regined!
  • The idea of writing a letter to the future core to the campaign – to lift people out of the here and now, to bring to emotional life to the ‘here and now’ decisions. And to demonstrate the power of the movement – collect 100’s of 1,000’s of signatures to show politicians at key decision points over a two year period.
  • Intention also to move beyond ’send/respond’ transaction, and for letter to gain a life of its own – a pandemic spread through social media, word of mouth etc.
  • Designed campaign to last nearly 2 years. Key advocacy milestones create a series of ‘reasons to sign now’. Start with trustees, board, staff and vols, celebs, then to members and then to non-members – rolling pandemic idea. Growing numbers making it easier to keep growing.
  • Advocacy objectives – commitments to nature conservation in GE manifestos. Nature protected and actions for climate change secured in emergency and November 2010 budget. Ditto for 2011 devolved elections.
  • Income – more non-members with better than average conversion rate – target 10% Volume name-gathering through summer. Member financial support for advocacy work. Demonstrate desired brand positioning – rational and emotional.
  • Moving on to barriers of integration – biggest by far the difficulty of grasping combined objectives! Feature of big organisations with big silos? Expressed in many decisions – eg why did we want proper data collection if it’s really about advocacy? Why struggle with ways of making it high profile if we could get all the signatures we need from our existing members? Why risk this message for an appeal when we could go with a safer story? Other barriers less about integration - but important!
  • Many of these not specific to integration, but had to be overcome. From my perspective, the last the most significant. Little reputational risk of a new creative failing – but big risk for a major advocacy campaign if not successful.
  • Does integration mean dilution? High profile of advocacy for us meant every word and image scrutinised by Chief exec and many others. Did we lose something in this process?
  • Did it work? Advocacy objectives first – said we wanted 200k by time of Westminster election – yes! Minimum 300k by next May – or 500k!
  • We did get some good manifesto for nature
  • And for climate change
  • We delivered the 200k + signatures to Downing street 2 weeks after coalition govt formed (26 May)
  • The chief secretary to HMT signed the letter! (before the election..)
  • Now in months to November budget, those signed up being asked to contribute to CSR consultation, to write to Defra minister, to contact local MPs etc etc. Core group able to mobilise as things progress. And able to show members what we’ve done – movement, not club.
  • won’t get full picture for several months
  • But organisationally, we’ve taken a big step forward. We’ve shown a campaign can work over a sustained period and against advocacy, brand and income objectives. We’ve set up effective cross-RSPB working practices. We can present ourselves as our supporters see us! We can only go forward from here!
  • Integration Afternoon (5 of 7) RSPB Letter to the Future 6 july 2010

    1. 1. Karen Rothwell Director of Marketing
    2. 2. What I’ll cover... <ul><li>Brief overview of the campaign </li></ul><ul><li>What it integrates </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges created by integrated approach </li></ul><ul><li>How we sought to overcome them </li></ul><ul><li>Were we successful? </li></ul>
    3. 3. An idea… Climate change and biodiversity targets RSPB objectives: advocacy, income, brand Govt. recession responses: pre and post election
    4. 5. <ul><li>I’m writing this now to make sure our children have a chance of growing up in a world worth living in. </li></ul><ul><li>Today there’s still time to save nature. </li></ul><ul><li>If we act now, our children may yet be able to share their world with sparrows and polar bears, eagles and tigers. There’s still a chance that they’ll inherit a world where the engines of life – the air, sea, rivers and forests – are healthy. Where bluebell woods and rainforests won’t be lost forever. </li></ul><ul><li>Yes, I accept that recovery from recession has meant spending billions of pounds – one way or another future generations will have to pay for this. The least we can do is to use this money to create a future they’ll thank us for. </li></ul><ul><li>I want governments to invest in a healthy economy and a healthy environment. As well as protecting jobs, I want them to tackle climate change and to protect our seas, countryside and wildlife. </li></ul><ul><li>I’m signing this letter to show that I care deeply about nature and the world we are creating for our children. In years to come I hope they’ll be able to see that their world is a richer one because of the action we took today. </li></ul><ul><li>I’m hoping that many thousands of people will join me in signing it. </li></ul><ul><li>Together we can be a powerful voice for nature. </li></ul><ul><li>Yours in hope, </li></ul>
    5. 7. Campaign Timeline S O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M Staff Members Public launch F2F GE advocacy Budget advocacy Devolveds
    6. 8. Signatures will help show politicians that people care
    7. 9. Organisational development Membership, brand and getting our ducks in a row
    8. 10. Barriers 1 <ul><li>“ ...but what’s it’s main objective????” </li></ul><ul><li>“ ...wafty conceptual stuff – we need something specific that we’re likely to win.” </li></ul><ul><li>Not invented here. </li></ul><ul><li>(Silent but loud!) </li></ul>
    9. 11. Barriers 2 <ul><li>Not on the plan – what can we drop to fit in? </li></ul><ul><li>Not on the plan – what does it mean for current campaign? </li></ul><ul><li>Will it be too political and scary for current members? </li></ul><ul><li>Are we in danger of being exploitative of children? </li></ul><ul><li>Will it work? – and advocacy risk of failure </li></ul>
    10. 14. What we did – tangible barriers <ul><li>Sorted them! </li></ul><ul><li>Stakeholder persuasion and consultation – CEO, Board, key people </li></ul><ul><li>Chose Head of Advocacy to lead the campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Got agreement to a ‘pilot’ with clear objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Conducted market research </li></ul><ul><li>Referred to positive Market Research and Pilot results in subsequent internal conversations </li></ul>
    11. 15. What we did... ctd <ul><li>Agreed positive exit strategy for current campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Cleared work overloads ....just </li></ul><ul><li>Loads of internal communications – CEO video launch, f2f presentations by senior sponsors, intranet, emails etc etc etc (but never enough) </li></ul><ul><li>Structured, cross-departmental Campaign Steering Group and delivery team </li></ul>
    12. 16. What counted most? <ul><li>Strong, determined leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Belief </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Can do’ attitude </li></ul>
    13. 17. 239,360.... ... and counting
    14. 18. Reasons to be cheerful – Part 1 <ul><li>We will produce a White Paper on protecting the natural environment, including a focus on restoring habitat </li></ul><ul><li>We will introduce a new strategy to bring back on target to halt the loss of habitats and species and as far as possible restore biodiversity by 2020 </li></ul><ul><li>We will introduce measures to promote green spaces and wildlife corridors in order to halt the loss of habitats and restore biodiversity </li></ul>
    15. 19. Reasons to be cheerful – Part 2 <ul><li>We will reduce UK greenhouse gases and increase our share of global markets for low carbon technologies </li></ul><ul><li>We create jobs by making Britain greener... </li></ul><ul><li>..EPS for coal, per flight duty, home energy improvement, increase renewables target, establish Green Bank, no third runway at Heathrow or expansion at Gatwick/Stansted. </li></ul>
    16. 21. 412 Parliamentary Candidates 95 MPs 1 Chief Secretary to HMT
    17. 23. Income objectives <ul><li>Member appeal beat conservative target – over £250k </li></ul><ul><li>Well received by members </li></ul><ul><li>Good conversion rates by telephone </li></ul><ul><li>Successful lead generator – peak season is through summer </li></ul>
    18. 24. Brand objectives <ul><li>Highly relevant– spot on for the times </li></ul><ul><li>Good demonstration of RSPB as a movement </li></ul><ul><li>Scope of RSPB work demonstrated through the 6 key policy asks </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional elements ‘faded’ over time </li></ul><ul><li>Pandemic hasn’t happened yet </li></ul><ul><li>Integrating Campaign ‘follow-ups’ into ‘normal’ communications is a struggle </li></ul>
    19. 25. What have we learned? <ul><li>Remember the Change Curve – and time needed in ‘doubt’ stage </li></ul><ul><li>Strong, positive leadership is essential </li></ul><ul><li>One element will tend to dominate </li></ul>