Reinvent publicity efforts to raise awareness of marine conservation

In recent years, we have seen many community-led efforts to promote marine conservation, like coastal and reef clean-ups, which not only involved marine conservation communities and members of the public, but also corporate partners (Dive into S'pore's marine environment to protect it; Oct 18).

Support from government agencies has also played a pivotal role in furthering the cause.

However, to further complement such efforts, conservation groups should milk the social media to expand public outreach and raise awareness.

Most communities involved in the local marine conservation scene are already on mainstream social media, such as Facebook and Instagram.

Celebrating Singapore Shores, for example, posts daily updates of the latest developments in marine conservation and their activities on Facebook.

However, people today are being bombarded with vast amounts of information through multiple media platforms every day.

In order to get the message of marine conservation across to people amid countless distractions, communities need to constantly innovate and reinvent their publicity efforts just like how companies develop their marketing strategies.

Video marketing is one such popular approach for online marketers.

Conservation groups can also consider running social media campaigns that encourage peer-to-peer sharing. For example, posting a personal story revolving around Singapore's marine environment could enter a participant in a lucky draw to win an underwater photography workshop at Pulau Hantu.

Given that 83 per cent of people in Singapore are active social media users according to some studies recently, leveraging social media can be a powerful tool in promoting awareness of conservation efforts.

Darryl Boon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2018, with the headline 'Reinvent publicity efforts to raise awareness of marine conservation'. Print Edition | Subscribe