Call to ARMS

Who would have thought that the sur­vival of the Nel­son Mail and the pro­tec­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment and the honey in­dus­try in the Nel­sonTas­man re­gion could be se­cured in a three week win­dow by get­ting the com­mu­nity to wipe out some wasps?

New Zealand Marketing - - Insight Creative -

The chal­lenge

The Nel­son Mail, a stal­wart of 150 years, set out to bring peo­ple to­gether by cham­pi­oning a lo­cal is­sue close to the hearts and minds o f its read­ers.

New Zealand has the high­est den­si­ties of Ger­man and com­mon wasps in the world, and the Nel­son-tas­man re­gion has been de­clared the ‘ wasp cap­i­tal’ of New Zealand.

Fair­fax Me­dia and the Nel­son Mail part­nered with the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion to erad­i­cate th­ese two in­va­sive wasp species us­ing Ve­spex – a lo­cally de­vel­oped low tox­i­c­ity, pro­tein based bait, which is laid in bait sta tions in late Jan­uary and early Fe­bru­ary. This is a tiny win­dow when wasps change to a pro­tein- based diet. The bait is safe for bees and pets.

The re­sponse

The core idea was to cre­ate a com­mu­nity wide crowd­fund­ing and ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign util­is­ing the Nel­son Mail, in print and on­line, t o show the com­mu­nity how wasps dev­as­tate na­tive species and the en­vi­ron­ment, and what they could do about it.

Fair­fax Me­dia cre­ated a fundrais­ing plat­form that made donat­ing ac­ces­si­ble and showed donors where their money was go­ing. To en­sure they had enough vol­un­teer power the Nel­son Mail en­cour­aged the com­mu­nity to reg­is­ter with DOC to be­come an ap­proved Ve­spex bait user, al­low­ing them to place bait around their homes and neigh­bour­hoods.

Jour­nal­ists en­gaged and ed­u­cated peo­ple across dif­fer­ent top­ics af­fected by wasps. This in­cluded look­ing a t the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts of wasps con­sum­ing the food sources for na­tive birds and in­ver­te­brates, and their at­tacks on the baby birds; the econ­omy and the im­pacts on t ourism and the honey in­dus­try; and hu­man well- be­ing.

Each of th­ese points was cov­ered through in-depth mul­ti­me­dia jour­nal­ism, in­cor­po­rat­ing edi­to­rial, dis­play ad­ver­tis­ing, com­mu­nity gen­er­ated con­tent, in­fo­graph­ics and videos.

With tim­ing a crit­i­cal f ac­tor, the multi- me­dia cam­paign was ex­e­cuted with mil­i­tary pre­ci­sion. Wasp Wipe­out Week was a three- phased approach that sourced fund­ing for the bait; a call f or vol­un­teers ( in­clud­ing train­ing); and a call to arms –a r eminder to place their bait.

The re­sults

The ini­tia­tive in­creased ac­ces­si­bil­ity to the fundrais­ing cam­paign for busi­nesses, and the com­mu­nity out­reach ex­tended to schools and ser­vice clubs. The money raised en­abled the pro­gramme to cover 390 km of Nel­son’s Beech for­est.

The suc­cess of the cam­paign cre­ated a valu­able blue­print for fu­ture Wasp Wipe­out mis­sions, and most im­por­tantly for Fair­fax Me­dia, the ini­tia­tive halted the Nel­son Mail’s de­cline in sales and rev­enue.

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