This section offers a sampling of the projects we’ve handled. Please click here to view a list of other case studies.
Communication for natural resources conservation & preservation
The Center for Natural Resources (CNR) in Florida, was a focal organization for interdisciplinary research and natural resources information networking the industry, federal and state agencies, the scientific community and academia. Its mission was to enable research for the conservation and preservation of natural resources primarily in the state of Florida in the United States.
The center was doing major work, leading collaboration with universities, organizations, and even government dignitaries around the world. But the brand and collateral did not reflect this standing. The organization was run by scientists who did not have the necessary subject-matter knowledge to enhance its communication, PR and marketing efforts. There was a need to connect the different relevant publics and help them discover ways to work with each other. It wanted to be seen as a preferred resource for reliable information on natural resources research and a networking ground to create partnerships. Raaj Chandran was working with the center as communications manager at the time.
Owing to CNR’s nonprofit nature, a full-fledged research effort was not feasible. So the team adopted convenience sampling and qualitative information. Conversations and interviews with the center’s executive team and leaders in other partner organizations served as a starting point.
Identifying needs and areas of concern from these discussions, the team effected the following tactics:
- The cluttered and clunky website was revamped with edited content, resources, and a more audiovisual approach. From a dumping ground of technical information, it was repositioned as a multimedia PR tool. Informative brochures on different research programs were made available for download.
- The monthly newsletter Linkages was rethought and redesigned. Issues were planned and themes and stories budgeted for a full year. Professionals were identified and articles were written as easy-to-read stories. Distributed in online and print formats, this quickly became a popular and much-anticipated publication.
- At tradeshows and events, the team introduced theme-based marketing. For instance, at one tradeshow, the team brought in a live baby alligator to raise awareness of Florida wildlife as also to attract inquiries about the center’s work. The booth décor would reflect the prevalent theme.
- The newsletter Linkages won a Gold ANREP (Association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals) national award and the redesigned website won a Silver ANREP national award in 2000.
- Theme-based marketing at events resulted in increased visits to the booth and more requests for information.
- At events and during interactions, CNR’s key publics opined how the newsletter and the website helped them identify organizations they could work with and people to contact there.