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Crafting compelling stories to elevate nature-based solutions at COP28

Background

Nature has a critical role to play in reducing carbon emissions and helping us build climate resilience. The vision of the Nature Positive Coalition is for the world to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030, as a major contribution to the fight against climate change. COP28 was a chance to bring all the elements of the Nature Positive campaign into one place to maximize impact and move the needle from ambition to action. 

Objective

The goal of the Nature Positive Campaign at the COP28 Climate Conference (held in Dubai in November-December 2023) was for nature to be recognized in global climate negotiations and plans: to put nature-based solutions at the heart of the climate conversation.

Communications Inc’s role within the multifaceted campaign was to elevate the Nature Positive message and engage a wide audience – both at COP28 and around the world – by coordinating the production and distribution of video content for broadcasting.

Approach and delivery

Working closely with partners in the Nature Positive Communications Working Group, we developed an innovative storytelling approach to bring real-world examples of nature-based climate solutions to life, and designed a smart strategy to get engaging video content out to broadcast and social media. At the centre of the media strategy was a partnership with the Associated Press (AP) to guarantee our stories landed in the inboxes of news editors. We also developed a paid media strategy focused on boosting the stories on X (Twitter) and LinkedIn to reach target audiences.

In the weeks ahead of COP28, we identified 7 compelling Nature Positive stories and began developing them into Video News Releases (VNRs) and pitching them to select media outlets. An online multimedia Nature Newsroom was setup in partnership with AP to provide a hub for all the VNRs and media briefings. We made two versions of each VNR: a consumer ready version and a newsroom ready version with B-roll, shotlists, transcripts and background information.

Once on the ground in Dubai, the team worked to secure interviews with prominent figures and deployed two camera/editor crews to film and edit them. The interviews were used to complete the 7 VNRs and to produce 14 daily wrap-up videos posted on the Nature4Climate YouTube channel.

To streamline the Nature Positive Coalition’s communications, we established a central ‘Trello’ where partners could to find everything – including campaign identity, media toolkits, social media posts and video assets – in one place. Communications Inc also produced 3 Social Media Toolkits and prepared responses to challenging questions on tricky topics like climate finance and carbon offsetting. We then invited the media to cover important moments at the Nature Positive Pavilion and promoted major Nature Positive stories at COP28.

We launched the 7 VNRs on key days between 30 November and 12 December to fit with the COP28 agenda and maximize impact. The Newsroom played a central role in broadcasting the content globally and the VNRs were also sent directly to newsroom / broadcast content managers.

Impact

The Nature Positive campaign helped ensure that COP28 was a watershed moment for driving home the message that ‘there is no net zero without nature’. In Dubai, the realization that nature-based solutions are critical to climate action truly broke through and there was unprecedented mobilization of investment and resources.

Our contribution to the Nature Positive campaign was central to amplifying this message and increasing engagement across multiple digital platforms and media outlets. The VNRs achieved global reach. AP reported 198 downloads (pickup by online channels) and 98 hits (pickup by broadcast channels) from 47 countries from across the world. The mix of organic and boosted social content racked up an impressive 19,07M views for the VNRs and daily videos on X. Standout VNRs, including “Give the Whale a Seat at the UN Table” (662.7K views) and “Youth Voices Plea to COP leaders” (555K views) fuelled the online Nature Positive momentum. The daily videos attracted 1,201 views on the Nature4Climate YouTube channel.

This campaign reaffirms the power of compelling, relatable stories and a smart media strategy in conveying the Nature Positive message to a global audience and helping to turn words into action.