After 37 years in business, Insurance Corporation (ICCI) have firmly positioned themselves as the leading insurer in the Channel Islands. Through their Community Support Programme, they have always had a strong focus on investment into the local community; whether that be education, health, sport or conservation.

One initiative, The Insurance Corporation Conservation Awards, has now been running for 28 years. Entries are encouraged from keen conservationists of any age or background, and in doing so they have the chance to gain unparalleled exposure and the possibility of financial backing to support their project developments.

When Crowd secured the marketing & communications support contract after a pitch process in 2017, we immediately identified that this inspiring initiative was no longer creating the impact it so deserved. The potential was endless, yet the event branding was confused and the storytelling had fallen flat.

With a drive to breathe new life into the Conservation Awards, we increased entries to record levels in our first year, smashing numbers from the previous 26 years from across the Channel Islands.

So, how did we do it?

Here are some of the most important drivers to creating a refreshed and effective approach:

We Got Under The Skin Of The Initiative

By taking a step back and reviewing the legacy event activity, we felt we really got to the heart of the initiative, and by doing so we understood what Peter Walpole, Founder of Insurance Corporation, had in mind when he launched the Awards 26 years ago.

A primary focus was the branding for the Awards themselves; we identified there had been confusion in the past regarding ICCI’s ownership of the event, to the extent that the media had reported that the initiative was sponsored, not owned by, the organisation.

By rebranding the event and focusing on how this was perceived by all stakeholders, we repositioned it as a brand owned pan-island event, with an important and lasting footprint.

We further got under the skin of the Awards by spending time with previous entrants, learning about what the Awards meant to them. This was a vital step in taking the Conservation Awards story and embedding it further into the local community, something we now do every year to keep the narrative engaging and relevant.

Key takeaway: Understanding our client, their ethics and their story before we started campaign planning made a huge difference to reach of the message.

We Built A Community Of Advocates

As representatives of Insurance Corporation and the Awards, we spent time sourcing conservation influencers across the Channel Islands in order to build an engaged network who we could learn from and who would, by default, advocate the cause through their own networks.

This process really highlighted the importance of building awareness through culture itself – not just ad space.

Although there was a healthy competitive edge amongst the groups we met, they all supported their peers and colleagues, understanding that as close knit communities our local environments would benefit by everybody seeing this as more of a movement with a lasting footprint, rather than a one-off event.

Key takeaway: Building engaging relationships amongst influences and conservation groups meant that ICCI and the Conservation Awards were officially back on the map.

We Made The Awards Exciting To Schools And Youth Groups

Understanding that engaged younger generations are vital to the future success of conservation, we wanted to make the Awards an educational and exciting prospect.

We invested time talking to teachers and youth group leaders to find out how we could best support them with their applications. We ensured they understood the benefits of entering the Awards and how we could encourage their pupils and members to be a part of the initiative.

We posted relevant and engaging content through social media groups, memberships and organisations, engaging with young people directly where they reside on digital channels; making the information accessible and interesting.

We further engaged with the Education Departments at both The States of Guernsey and Jersey, to ensure they could assist with increasing the reach of the Awards message

Key takeaway: We understood how to take the message to different demographics using a multi-media approach.

Talking To The Experts In Conservation

We knew that each year, ICCI invited judges to assist with the Awards process. Many well known and respected names from local conservation and environment initiatives take part in the important process of selecting worthy applicants to be shortlisted.

A critical part of the judging process is now the professional level filming we have brought to the process. We create short form films of each shortlisted entry, which we then use to drive further the message of the Awards, but also to showcase on the Awards Presentation day. We know from talking to previous entrants that even if they didn’t win their category, the exposure they got from our involvement added huge value to their causes.

We also got them to share the application process with their own member based groups and networks. They have been invaluable in helping us to understand the subject matter better. This means that we are communicating the entire Awards with a deeper knowledge of conservation in the Channel Islands.

Key takeaway: By involving the experts and bringing them closer to the entire Awards process, we once again increased reach of message and accuracy of key campaign stories.

Right Message, Right Medium, Right Time

As with all things Crowd Media do, everything started with a clear strategy, based on the core objectives we had outlined from our initial research period.

For The Conservation Awards, this meant repositioning the event brand, building an engaged audience around the brand, and understanding how to take the message to all pockets of the community across the entire Channel Islands.

We applied our pre, during and post event content creation methods to the entire process. This means that we stayed away from producing “throw away” content during the annual occasion itself, like some form of ‘tick list’. The storytelling now extends to video interviews, blogs about previous entrants, project developments from previous winning entrants, engaging with ICCI and spotlighting their voice on conservation and continuing the conversation in the community across the entire year.

We selected coverage with traditional media outlets, but it was digital that has allowed us to extend the footprint of these Awards to what it is today. This strategy means we have created endless opportunities that are fully measurable and highly engaged.

Key takeaway: By creating a fully immersive strategic approach, we’ve created a legacy for Insurance Corporation that stands tall and builds influence; It communicates the brand’s ongoing commitment to conservation in the Channel Islands.

This years awards are open to entry, with deadline set for 15 April 2019. If you are a conservationist with a project of your own or know of someone who may be interested, we’d love to hear from you! ENTER HERE

Want to know how we could help your business with it’s Event Promotion and CSR? Give us a shout for a no obligation coffee…

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