Originally published on Campaign Magazine
Sir David Attenborough is credited as describing the process of saving our planet as “a communications challenge”. Following its commitment to Ad Net Zero, MG OMD rose beautifully to this challenge by mobilising all 480 of its employees to lend pro-bono strategic communications support to Media Trust’s cohort of 30 environmental charities. The work donated was equivalent to more than £400,000 of billable hours – the largest demonstration of in-kind support seen in the media industry to date.
More than half of environmental charities struggle to communicate about the climate crisis effectively and have little to no resource for marketing themselves or communicating with people. The charities involved in this project were charged with composing a brief, summarising their mission, objectives and key communications challenges. These were then carefully matched with MG OMD teams of volunteers with the appropriate skill sets.
Outputs included target audience insights, short and long-term solutions, creative social campaigns and evaluation frameworks, with 100% of charities agreeing that the programme had directly improved their communications.
Subsequent surveys found that charity staff confidence in talking to clients about sustainability has since more than tripled from 12% to 47% and that 88% felt more confident in their roles. All report increasing their engagement with new audiences and many are forming new partnerships. What’s more, 18 of the 30 charities had implemented the solutions proposed by volunteers within six months of the programme. Of the MG OMD volunteers, 82% said the experience increased their motivation to work with charities.
“An impressive, large-scale initiative, great partnership initiative. A structured programme enlisting support from staff – no easy feat. Clear, quantifiable results. Demonstrated company wide commitment – through structured engagement with all 480 employees. Engaging with wide variety of partners – consultants, charities, industry platforms to drive systemic change, and clear change in consumer behaviour through the pro-bono charity campaigns.”