Amazing ideas by courageous young people

June 08, 2016

This year the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project was “the client” of the GlobCom Initiative. More than 200 students, coming from 16 countries, formed nine teams competing for the ‘business’ of the client. And we had the difficult task to select the best one, and only one!

The students have been working remotely for 3 months, and our team provided the context and the objectives of their assignment. Our objectives were to make dugongs and seagrass more visible and to mobilise support. Easy to assign, hard to work on – to devise a communications strategy, especially for conservation of an almost mythical animal, such as the Dugong and the unnoticeable seagrass. When we add to this context the limited budgets of protected area managers, low level of awareness of dugongs and seagrass, poor communities striving for access to resources to feed their families and businesses running after profits, the environment and communities, we end up with a complex reality. A reality that the student public relations companies had to face and build plausible and effective communications strategies for dugongs, seagrass and communities.

A first selection round narrowed the field to three semi-finalists and we, the client, had to participate in selecting the winner. Three pitch presentations were presented to a jury, comprised of public relations agency professionals, communications professors and the members of the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project .Three ambitious teams presented ideas of socializing the conservation of dugongs and seagrass and reaching out to people by “Fishing the innocent”, looking for the “Lady of the Sea”, mobilsing to “Save Dave”, running marathons, organizing concerts, tapping into fashion and many others.

United PR, the winning team of GlobCom 2016
United PR, the winning team of GlobCom 2016

All teams gave their best but United PR got the highest number of votes because they were able to capture both dugongs and seagrass, working within the budgets provided and finding a way to measure success.

The Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project team was happy to be part of the GlobCom Initiative and is thankful to all students for their ideas and efforts. We definitely learned a lot in the process and are exploring further how to adopt the tactics of the nine participating student teams.