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Nature at its best

© Martin Mecnarowski, shutterstock

European Commission, Directorate-General for Environment

May 2018


How do you generate interest in environmental awards?


With a social media focused promotion strategy

What do Egyptian vultures, brown bears and Estonian grasslands have in common? They’re all winners in the fight to preserve our environment. Projects protecting these precious habits and species all won prizes in the European Commission’s 2018 Natura 2000 Awards. And we designed a winning strategy to promote the event.

Increase entries and votes: the two key objectives of the communications strategy. Social media was at the heart of our approach. We crafted content and designed a social media toolkit to help shortlisted projects promote their own work. With little or no paid promotion we beat our target of 50,000 votes for the Citizens’ Award. 35% of traffic to the voting website came from social media. Extensive social media monitoring before during and after the Awards was used to monitor brand awareness and visibility across the EU and beyond. More traditional PR activities took the message further.

There can be no promotion without substance though.  Backstage our designers created the visual identity for the Awards and produced leaflets and posters. Our developers pitched in to re-design the applicants’ website in Drupal as well as host and monitor the voting system. Working with our partners we helped shine a light on some of the best examples of environmental protection.