Published: 14 November 2012

WWF’s The Panda Made Me Do It

People may think of your charity as providing a distinct service to a specific audience – and you may communicate this very well.

Whether it’s Cancer Research UK, Macmillan or Amnesty International, your stakeholders will have a distinct view of the cause your charity supports. But there’s often much more to a charity than meets the eye and digital channels are a fantastic way to communicate different activities to often new and diverse audiences.

WWF’s The Panda Made Me Do It is one example of an integrated communications campaign that looked to increase awareness and engagement by celebrating, rewarding and encouraging pro-environmental behaviour.

The main aims of the campaign were: to increase awareness of WWF; to change perceptions of WWF as a brand; to increase understanding of the breadth of the charity's work; to increase public engagement with WWF; and to encourage and inspire the public to take positive action for the environment.

Taking online action

There were a number of ways for people to get involved through WWF’s campaign site.

The WWF’s Waterside Challenge app used mobile technology to bring some of London’s hidden waterside treasures to life through simulations of local wildlife, interactive quizzes, videos and more digital surprises. People could also take part in challenges to win Panda Points, which could be exchanged for prizes.

People could pledge to choose good wood: choosing FSC-certified wood and paper products is good for forests, wildlife and people. It's a simple way to influence what your retailer buys and sells.

Visitors to the site could also enter the Ecover Blue Mile: swim, kayak, paddle or just walk a mile on, or around, water to get the nation caring about our blue environment.

Earth Book : the story of our world told through the eyes of its best storytellers – us. Our world needs your voice. Say why you love it.

T-shirt love story: we encouraged people to watch and share our new video, which shows the lengths some people will go to, to get one of our exclusive t-shirts. They’re only available to people who can really say “The panda made me do it”.

Ensuring the right tone

The Panda Made Me Do It campaign encouraged and celebrated action to protect the planet in a fun and engaging way. The tone was lighter than traditional WWF communications and focused on the people who were already dedicated to protecting the planet. All the content aimed to: speak to the individual, inspire and excite, express need and encourage sharing.

Key takeaways

The campaign has seen success to date, with a few main elements that you might think about for your own campaigns.

Content is king (and make it easy to share): creating engaging, rewarding and interesting content is important. We want to reach people where they are, so this content can be on social media, blogs etc. and we always encourage sharing.

Integration not replication: support existing campaigns, through cross-promotion and amplification. We engaged with people in a lighter way to encourage them to get involved with existing campaigns, e.g. Earth Book.

Think how campaigns can be multi-platform: WWF increased awareness and interaction by making actions available across platforms including – web, mobile, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Youtube.

When your charity is looking to communicate with new and diverse audiences, digital channels and social media are a great way to highlight activity that people might not previously know about. The Panda Made Me Do It campaign was one way to put this into action, but there are plenty of other ways to showcase a broader range of your charity’s activities online.