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Strategic media approaches to Our Ocean Conference 2024

Background

The 9th Our Ocean Conference, hosted by the government of Greece, took place in Athens on 15 – 17 April 2024, under the theme ‘Our Ocean – An Ocean of Potential’. Like previous Our Ocean conferences, Our Ocean Greece’s ambition was to call on global leaders to make tangible financial and policy commitments to ocean protection, sustainability, technology and science.

Objective

The 9th Our Ocean Conference, hosted by the government of Greece, took place in Athens on 15 – 17 April 2024, under the theme ‘Our Ocean – An Ocean of Potential’. Like previous Our Ocean conferences, Our Ocean Greece’s ambition was to call on global leaders to make tangible financial and policy commitments to ocean protection, sustainability, technology and science.

Approach and delivery

Communications Inc was commissioned by Bloomberg Philanthropies to provide strategic and communications support to help deliver the conference goals. This included creating a comms strategy that encompassed social media, live tweeting, social media listening, pitching Our Ocean to international media, press releases, media briefings, video content, media and bloggers outreach, placement of OpEds, interviews, and more.

Communications INC, commissioned by Bloomberg Philanthropies and others, managed a comprehensive media strategy including social media, press briefings, and OpEd placements. 20 international journalists were supported to attend the event and to report on key issues. Joined by a team of 12 bloggers, together we generated extensive social media engagement and press coverage. Strategic press briefings and high-profile OpEds enhanced visibility and ensured that the coverage, including the amplification of Our Ocean messages via youth leaders was on message.

The strategic deployment of 5 press briefings during the conference was pivotal for delivering continuous and focused media coverage. They provided journalists with access to firsthand information, expert insights, and real-time updates, which were instrumental in producing dynamic, accurate reports, and stimulating active participation and dialogue among global stakeholders.

High profile OpEds provided a strategic avenue for influential voices to discuss ocean protection and the event’s key themes. The OpEd by Minister Skylakakis, Greek Minister of Environment and Energy, was published in prominent outlets like Euronews and EFE, and picked up by further media outlets in Spain and Latin America. The actor Ted Danson, a well-known environmental advocate, also penned an OpEd that was published by Euronews and EFE, leveraging his celebrity status to attract attention to the ocean.

We also helped coordinate a series of interviews performed onsite by EFE and published in a number of media outlets. These included interviews with EU Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius, UN Envoy Peter Thomson, activist Alexandra Cousteau, Chile’s Special Envoy for the Ocean Julio Cordano, and several interviews covering the Youth Summit.

Impact

The media coverage of the 9th Our Ocean Conference was instrumental in amplifying the urgency of marine conservation issues and the collective efforts needed to address them.

Between 13 and 22 April 2024, Our Ocean Greece was mentioned in almost 5,000 online articles in local, regional, national and international media, resulting in a staggering 3.9 billion impressions. This highlights the global reach and impact of the event.

Social media performance data covering X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and LinkedIn from January to April 2024, shows significant engagement and audience growth across all three platforms, including 548,847 total Impressions, 15,201 total Engagements, and a total audience increase of 4,307 users across the three platforms. The 3 conference days accounted for 65% of the nearly 600 total posts published over the 4-month period, and 43.5% of the total engagements, highlighting the intensive publishing schedule during the conference.

Videos posted on the 9th Our Ocean Conference YouTube channel accumulated a total of 7,054 views, and a total watch time of 1,132 hours, indicating that viewers were highly engaged with the content. The channel achieved 14,748 impressions with an average click-through rate of 8.5%, showcasing its effective reach and viewer interest.

Our strategic approach to media engagement, utilizing a blend of high-profile OpEds, an extensive online presence, and traditional media, significantly enhanced the conference’s outreach and impact. This comprehensive media strategy also encouraged active participation and dialogue among global stakeholders, setting a strong precedent for future environmental conferences.