Author Archives: Michael Hoevel

Sustainable Investment Management

The challenge: The leaders of Sustainable Investment Management asked Marchmont to promote the launch of an innovative green bonds scheme to finance sustainable soy production in Brazil across the full spectrum of target audiences from green finance to trade, environment and agriculture. The initiative involved national and multilateral partners including the UK government, UN Environment and Climate Policy Lab.

Our approach: Marchmont developed media materials ahead of the launch event while also engaging with a top tier journalist over moderating a panel discussion at the session. Marchmont then leveraged the news context and agenda to pitch widely and successfully across target media.

Outcomes: The launch of the Responsible Commodities Facility was covered by the Financial Times and Xinhua news agency as well as specialist trade media such as Business Green and FeedNavigator. Marchmont also secured an FTfm reporter, Jennifer Thompson, to moderate the in-person panel.

Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation

The challenge: As an EU-funded institution supporting smallholder farmers in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP), CTA wanted to communicate its achievements as it prepared for its next multi-year planning cycle.

Our approach: Marchmont carried out an assessment of CTA’s initiatives, case studies and success stories before developing a year-long plan to showcase its work in its key regions. This involved a combination of monthly opinion pieces, regular media outreach campaigns and on-site media field visits in Africa and the Caribbean.

Outcomes: Within six months, Marchmont had secured around 150 pieces of coverage including articles from top tier publications such as Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Xinhua, France24, Mongabay, CNBC Africa and others. This included seven op-eds, authored by CTA staff or partners.

Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group

The challenge: As a network of progressive business leaders, convened at the University of Cambridge, the Corporate Leaders Group represents a diverse range of industries with a common goal: to advocate for a clear and unequivocal target for net zero emissions across Europe.

Our approach: Marchmont provided a bespoke service that combined long-term strategy and communications such as the coordination of an open letter, with the agility of responding to opportunities that emerged organically from the news cycle. This included generating media opportunities on-site at the Global Climate Action Summit, and engaging with journalists around timely topics such as the phase-out of halogen lightbulbs in Europe.

Outcomes: Over the course of a year, the Corporate Leaders Group engaged with the Financial Times, the Guardian, Reuters, China Daily and Voice of America along with specialist media including Euractiv, Business Green, Edie.net and Climate Home News.

Gillian Hadfield

The challenge: To promote her book, Rules for a Flat World, Professor Gillian Hadfield approached Marchmont for support including a revision of her website, messaging, media outreach and social media management – all of which would showcase the range of legal and economic issues for which she is known.

Our approach: Marchmont established a consistent and engaging brand identity, including a revision of Prof. Hadfield’s website and Twitter account, and also developing a policy brief based on her book’s main themes. Alongside this, Marchmont developed monthly thought leadership pieces, published in diverse top tier publications as well as arranging interviews to raise the client’s profile.

Outcomes: Within the first three months, Prof. Hadfield was published by Reuters, LA Times, The Hill, Quartz, and TechCrunch, as well as trade publications Evolve Law/Above the Law, and ABA Journal. Prof. Hadfield’s Twitter following increased by 50 per cent with a 15-fold increase in impressions from 9,300 to almost 145,000. Prof. Hadfield received several invitations to write articles or essays, and give interviews.

Livestock Global Alliance

The Challenge: The livestock sector plays an essential but often overlooked role in global development. The meat, milk and eggs that livestock provide can contribute to people’s nutrition and health, and the sector is an engine of inclusive economic growth. So how can livestock be managed more sustainably, safely and productively to achieve these goals, while using precious land and water resources more efficiently and keeping the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions to a minimum?

Our Approach: The Livestock Global Alliance was formed to encourage and inform livestock-related policy dialogue, investments and analytical work and is a joint initiative of the World Bank, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the three United Nations agricultural agencies based in Rome. Ahead of their global launch, they approached Marchmont to help them develop a suite of communications materials which would position themselves as thought leaders and advocates. Our main insight for the work was that livestock storytelling is actually about humans as much as it’s about animals. This led to our tagline “Sustainable Livestock, Sustainable Lives”. We then developed a set of key messages and supporting evidence, an animated video, GIFs, an infographic, a PowerPoint template and a corporate video featuring the main LGA spokespeople.

Outcomes: To bring these materials to life, Marchmont developed custom illustrations which were used throughout the materials we developed – adding visual energy and consistency. We successfully managed a geographically dispersed group of clients and delivered all of the materials under a tight deadline.

Farming First

The Challenge: Many of the solutions for global agriculture are well known and simply need to reach policymakers, donors and especially farmers. Other big questions require consensus to be built and evidence gathered. How can a science-based, farmer-centric approach to farming take root, providing trusted information and views in an engaging and shareable way?

Our Approach: Farming First is a global agricultural coalition with 180 supporter organisations and established in 2009. Marchmont provides the day-to-day support managing the coalition’s communications and outreach (e.g. website, blog, Twitter etc) as well as producing regular campaigns around key policy themes, from sustainable agriculture and climate change to women in agriculture and the sector’s key role in the post-2015 development agenda. Some examples include: interactive illustrated infographics, animated GIFs, case studies, newsletters, policy toolkits, motion graphic and reportage-style videos, brochures and flyers as well as regular media outreach to top-tier global media.

Outcomes: Farming First has become a leading voice in advocating agriculture’s role in sustainable development.  Farming First has brokered partnerships with the United Nations, Chatham House, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the Economist and the World Food Prize among others.  Its campaigns and content have received multiple awards including from the Gates Foundation and Digital Communication Awards.

Agriculture for Impact

A4I websiteThe Challenge: About 80% of African farmers work on small plots which perform at only a fraction of their potential. Yet African agriculture holds vast potential to feed the continent’s growing population and fuel its economy – if given the right support.

Our Approach: Agriculture for Impact, under the leadership of Professor Sir Gordon Conway, is an independent advocacy initiative based at Imperial College London that aims to enable better European government support for productive, sustainable, equitable and resilient agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing in particular on the needs of smallholder farmers.

Outcomes: The Marchmont team has worked with Agriculture for Impact to develop and execute a communications strategy including planning and messaging workshops; research and writing; grant-writing support; and a complete redesign of their visual identity, including a new website and online database. We have also helped them secure hundreds of pieces of top-tier media coverage for their report launches, which have informed policymaking in the UN, European Commission, France and the UK, as well as the African Union over the years.

University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

The Challenge: CISL had a groundbreaking report on its hands that outlined a practical pathway to building effective insurance schemes for those vulnerable to climate risk. The authors wanted to ensure it had a tangible policy impact – specifically at the Third Financing for Development Conference (FFD3) in Addis Ababa in July 2015.

Our Approach: We supported CISL in writing a policy brief that summarised the report’s key findings, which we recommended releasing at the International Insurance Summit in New York, which industry leaders and key UN decision makers would attend. We released the policy brief to journalists under an embargo that lifted during the report author’s presentation at the IIS.

Outcomes: Media coverage that hit during the week of the policy brief launch was read and commented on by influential leaders in the insurance industry, and an in-depth BBC article was read and praised by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Following media attention, Dr Ana Gonzalez Pelaez, co-author of report, was invited onto a high level panel at the FFD3 conference, to present her findings and recommendations. The full report went live in conjunction with her panel session and to date the report has been covered by The Guardian, Reuters, Inter Press Service, SciDev and Devex, in addition to the BBC.

The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)

GIZ infographicThe Challenge: For policymakers, supporting agricultural development can be daunting task– both in terms of what agriculture is expected to achieve for development and also the conditions under which it takes place.

Our Approach: The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) tasked our team to help shape the content of a comprehensive guide for policymakers that they had written in partnership with the Overseas Development Institute. The report aimed to capture the policy areas where consensus exists as well as where debates and uncertainties still remain lies in which interventions work.

Outcomes: We worked with the report authors to craft new messages for the report; restructured and edited it; and then translated and designed it (view the full report here). We also produced an infographic (English and French versions) to help with the report’s later outreach both online and in workshops throughout Africa.

CGIAR Consortium

The Challenge: For every $1 invested in agricultural research, it is estimated that $9 worth of food in is produced in the developing countries where it is needed most. CGIAR Consortium is the largest publicly funded agricultural research partnership in the world, and its 15 centres manage over $1 billion of investment. It has been our task to communicate the mission and impact of CGIAR to the global media and important donors throughout the year, as well as at specific events such as Climate Week 2014.

Our Approach: We have been working with CGIAR to develop a number of products to demonstrate the global impact of their research work. This has involved creating an animated corporate video, an visual organogram explaining their network of research centres around the world, and positioning their CEO as a media spokesperson.

Outcomes: We have placed CGIAR’s work in a range of top tier media outlets such as the Guardian, BBC, National Geographic, Al Jazeera and the Financial Times. Our promotion of CGIAR Development Dialogues, the first event to showcase CGIAR’s solutions for solving hunger and poverty in New York during Climate Week in 2014 was attended by the New York Times and National Geographic.