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Charities to learn from when it comes to communicating the environmental crisis

13 May 2022

As charity communicators, we know that strong, carefully crafted comms can help to create real change. But how do we keep gaining cut through when there are so many major social issues that need addressing right now?

Our upcoming conference, Communicating to create change: tackling the environmental crisis, looks at just one of the big issues facing society – climate change. And it explores how we can all help no matter what our charities core purpose of cause area. Here two of our sponsors, Creative Concern and Empower, share examples of some of the charities they think are particularly strong when it comes to producing environmental comms that cut through in a noisy world…

Embracing new approaches like The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival : Creative Concern

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival may not seem the obvious organisation to embrace the climate crisis but the not-for-profit festival has been working hard to develop a new approach to the festival that puts the biggest challenges facing humanity at the heart of its approach.

This new purpose was forged after working on a highly successful project called ’10 Years to Save the World’. The project reached almost one million people through the commissioning of ten climate crisis stories from artists in the UK and the Philippines. Since then the organisation has redrawn its business plan to focus on ‘comics can change the world’ as its core mission and brand purpose. The festival has since developed its climate commitments and stated that “We will position LICAF as a leader on climate responsibility within the comic world.”

Gaining inspiration from WWF’s creatives and Greenpeace’s puns: Empower

We love WWF’s creatives on social media, which feature bold imagery, simple and direct copy, and memorable stats and facts. Combined with compelling copy and sprinkled with a liberal use of emojis, each social media post they publish works hard to make the most of each platform, resulting in engaging creative that stands out amongst a sea of content. Take a look at this carousel post, this video post and this infographic for examples to take inspiration from and see if your organisation can follow in their footsteps – or paw prints!

We love a good pun and social media audiences love them even more, especially when tied to an awareness day. This #StarWarsDay example from Greenpeace has a good use of humour, simple but strong messaging, and a meme to boot. It may be slightly cheesy, but it works and the high levels of engagement on the post back it up. Greenpeace use these lighter posts to balance against their more usual activist-focussed posts. So when they do have a message to share, it cuts through as they’re not constantly asking for their audience to take action. When they do, they often use the social features of the platform to engage their audience, such as this post that invites their followers to leave a ✊ if they agree with Greenpeace’s statement. And if you follow Greenpeace, why wouldn’t you agree?!

For more inspiration and tips on #CommsCreateChange then join us online for Communicating to create change: tackling the environmental crisis on 19 May.

Banner Image: Pixabay on Pexels

Ben Matthews

director, Empower

Ben Matthews is a director at Empower, a digital marketing agency for social good, whose clients include UNICEF, UN Refugee Agency, Amnesty International, The Wildlife Trusts and The Jo Cox Foundation. Montfort set digital marketing strategy and run digital marketing campaigns, including social media, paid ads and email marketing, for charities big and small.

Chris Dessent

managing director, Creative Concern

Co-founder of the North's leading ethical communications agency Creative Concern, Chris is passionate about communicating sustainable development. Chris' agency specialises in communicating green issues, regeneration, climate change, environmental technologies and much more. Chris himself is a specialist in film and video directing and producing, and devising integrated PR and marketing campaigns.