Following an exciting couple of weeks during the annual European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) public conservation vote, 53,000 votes were cast, over 10 million consumers were reached and support from unlikely places was registered – including from the President of Costa Rica!
Every year, EOCA invites members of the public to help choose 3 conservation projects from its shortlist for funding. Working in conjunction with several magazines across Europe, the projects are divided up into 3 separate categories (Nature, Outdoor and Alpine) and the public are invited to get involved by voting once in each category for their favourite project. The project receiving the most votes in each category will receive funding from EOCA of up to €30,000.
Working with National Geographic (Germany), The Great Outdoors (UK), NORR Magazine (Germany), Hike & Trekking, Bike & Trekking, SPORT PARTNER (The Netherlands) and Alpin (Germany), a huge flurry of on- and offline activity was created. This culminated in ‘Thunderclaps’ reaching 225,000 people, a letter of support from the Costa Rican President, interviews held on prime time Chilean national radio and support in the main national newspaper given by the Chilean Minister for the Environment, and tweets from the Chairman of one of the 3 main political parties in the UK. In total, the process reached over 10 million consumers. Not only this but several organisations recorded their most successful online campaigns ever with even those projects that did not gain funding from the public vote saying the process had been enormously helpful in raising their profile both locally and internationally.