My name’s Ben and I’m new here at the Environmental Investigation Agency.
Already, I’m amazed and bemused in equal measure by the inner workings of this place. The office can go from a vibrant hive of activity, with the phone ringing off the hook, to a complete ghost town in the space of 24 hours, with people travelling to far-flung places to expose those engaged in environmental criminal activity.
The knowledge, passion and unswerving dedication shown by all the staff here is truly inspiring and is the lifeblood of the organisation. Which got me wondering – with all the unique investigative work that goes on here, why don’t more people know the name EIA?
Well, the answer to that is quite simple – very little money is spent on marketing, as the vast majority of EIA’s funds are used for our frontline campaign work, a fact that, while refreshing, represents an enormous challenge when it comes to making sure that as many people as possible know about the valuable work EIA does.
So, how can we increase our profile and reach new audiences without dipping into the bank account?
The obvious starting point is the world of social media, a place where EIA has already made great strides during the past 18 months. It is such a powerful tool that, if utilised effectively, the likes of EIA can punch well above its budgetary weight. Today our Facebook ‘likes’ stand at 5,391 and some 2,041 individuals and organisations follow us on Twitter; that’s a fantastic start, but we’re always seeking to make those numbers grow and see our reach extended.
At its best, social media can be used to inform and inspire. It allows us to get the important facts, figures, breaking stories and insider information directly to those who want to read about it. It helps us to simply and quickly illustrate how the work we do links to the work done by similar organisations and campaigning bodies. Ultimately, this can only make the message, and the force with which it’s delivered, stronger.
One of the things making social media so useful for organisations such as EIA is the ease with which people who support our work can help us spread our message. Something as simple as the click of a mouse can make a real and instant difference, potentially taking us out to others who never knew we existed.
So here’s where you come in …
If you are one of those people who follow us on Twitter or like our Facebook page, please get out there and share EIA with your friends, family and colleagues. Social media is a wonderful medium for raising the profile of the essential work we undertake, and we can only do that with your help.
Of course, if Facebook and Twitter aren’t your thing, there are other ways you can spread EIA’s message, whether by passing on our literature or simply telling people about us through low-tech, ever-reliable word-of-mouth. We rely on you, our supporters, to keep spreading the message.
So, point people in the right direction and let EIA’s wonderful achievements speak for themselves. The work we do is too important, unique and outstanding to remain an inside secret – while much of the dangerous work we do must be undercover, our message shouldn’t be.
If you have any questions, thoughts or even tips about anything mentioned above, please get in touch with me. Equally, if you have thoughts about our online content, or if there’s anything you would like to see more of, just let me know. We appreciate all comments and feedback and would love to hear from you.