BRANDING INITIATIVE USING RARE DOCUMENTATION OF ENDANGERED SNOW LEOPARDS IN FEB-MAR 2012: Media work on the rare photo documentation of snow leopards in Kargil, India, incorporated tools like new media updates, media briefs and press releases. As a result, WWF-India received exceptional visibility globally including stories in 4 of USA's 10 ten circulating news papers - Washington Post, LA Times, San Jose Mercury News and Wall Street Journal, as well as well known international dailies like The Guardian and Toronto Star; apart from major Indian media outlets.
GLOBAL VISIBILITY OF WWF-INDIA’S SNOW LEOPARD CAMERA TRAP FINDINGS’ RELEASE, 2012
GLOBAL VISIBILITY OF WWF-INDIA’SSNOW LEOPARD CAMERA TRAP FINDINGS’ RELEASE Feb – Mar 2012 Ameen Ahmed Senior Communications Manager Species and Landscapes Programme WWF-India, New Delhi
BACKGROUNDWWF-India initiated a study led by Mr. Aishwarya Maheshwari on snow leopards ofKargil District, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), India in mid-2009. The work is supportedby the Department of Wildlife Protection, Government of J&K. The teamphotographed a wild snow leopard in Kargil the same year in May, the first suchimage from this remote district.In mid-2010 the team set camera traps in Kargil and obtained images of variouswildlife inhabiting the region, including the Tibetian wolf and the red fox. But for thefirst time ever images of a snow leopard were captured by these cameras in first weekof February 2012, a few kilo metres from the Line of Control (LOC) separating Indiafrom its neighbour Pakistan.WWF-India’s Species and Landscapes Programme communications team led by meused these camera trap findings to highlight the status of snow leopard in India aswell as create awareness among the common man and policy makers about the rarityof this beautiful cat. The event helped WWF-India’s branding. It helped raise theglobal visibility of WWF-India among its existing and potential donors.
THE DISSEMINATION AND INITIAL VISIBILITYImmediately upon receiving the images from the team in Kargil, a media releasewas prepared and circulated to electronic and print media adhering to the existingorganisational approval processes. This resulted in the story being carried widelyin the media in India, apart from some US-based science websites.
THE BIG PUSHIn response to therelease, the New Delhioffice of the agencyAssociated Press (AP)approached us to getthe story outinternationally. Withminimal responsetime, we ensured thepublishing of the storyand the images inhundreds of dailiesand websites worldover.
SCREENSHOT OF A GOOGLE SEARCH RUN USING THE RELEASE’S KEY WORDS
CROSSING THE HURDLESCHALLENGE: A few weeks earlier, snow leopards had made news at global level thanks to WWF-Bhutan’s stunning images of these rare cats from a remote part of that mountainous country. The challenge was to find a way to ensure there was spotlight on the animal again using our findings and thus help its cause.THE RESPONSE: The media, particularly AP, was impressed by the rarity of the news and clarity of the release which emphasised the point about Kargil being an ex-war zone and the snow leopards being found just a few kilo metres away from the LOC, a scene of intense fighting between the two nuclear armed nations not long ago. We believe this is what worked for us. For example, the Washington Post wrote "the big cats were not scared away from the Kargil mountains by the 1999 India-Pakistan conflict that killed hundreds of soldiers on both sides before a cease-fire was established with U.S. mediation."
The story appeared in 4 of USAs top 10 circulatingnews papers - WashingtonPost, LA Times, San Jose Mercury News and WallStreet Journal, as well as well known internationaldailies like The Guardian and Toronto Star. It was placed first in theslideshow of Yahoo!s top 500 pics of the day on 1 Mar 2012.
SCREENSHOTS OF SOME DAILIES AND WEBSITES THAT CARRIED THE STORY & IMAGES
ON SOCIAL MEDIAThe best image of the story was shared on WWF-India’s social media pages, which was shared widely by WWF-India fans and followers.
Thanks Aishwarya Maheshwari Ravi Singh Dr. Sejal Worah Dr. Dipankar Ghose Anil Cherukupalli Sonali Nandrajog Further information: Ameen Ahmed Cell: +91 9654440590Email: email@example.com Skype: canadaameen