The communication strategy of LIFE Blue Lakes, pursues several objectives including informing policy makers at local, regional and European level on actions to combat microplastics, being a reliable source of information, building awareness around cross-cutting issues of the project. This section describes the dissemination tools and materials useful to achieve the set objectives.
PROJECT BRANDING AND VISUAL IDENTITY
In collaboration with the Unik communications agency, a special logo was designed to represent the project’s mission. The logo is accompanied by a claim, a short text that completes the visual identity of the project, making it recognisable, memorable and coherent. The left side of the brand shows colors range from yellow to blue: yellow is the color dedicated to attention and is used to identify the problem highlights the urgency of the solution. On the right side, the lettering of the brand is clear and simple. The same difference in visual language is found in communication material.
The claim ‘No microplastics, Just waves’ aims to reach the final goal: the waves must not hide surprises. Blue Lakes wants to stir the waters of change, transforming the stillness of indifference image in a bigger awareness. Moreover, in English there is an idiom that says “to make waves” and its meaning is precisely to bring something new. The tone is simple because there aren’t alternatives.
The logo is contained in a branding box containing letterhead, templates for power point presentations, covers for internal reports
and the partnership logos:
INFORMATION AND PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS
The materials produced for the dissemination of the project have been produced in Italian, English and German and aim at an “off-line” communication that is always attentive to satisfy the need to narrate sensitive topics focussed on their scientific topic, which is proposed as a distinctive feature that makes any action of scientific environmentalism authoritative and credible.
Information boards displayed at the headquarter of each partner; Cardboard totems to be used during the events, each partner has two of them (one with title, logos and project partners and the second one with an infographic describing the journey of microplastics from the main sources to the lakes and a list of actions the project identifies to tackle the problem); Project roll-up for the Living Lakes travelling exhibition; Press Kit for journalists; Leaflet describing the project objectives and actions, distributed during the information and communication events organised by the project; One minute video spots describing sources and solutions to the problem of microplastics in lakes; Brochure which illustrates the problem of plastic and microplastic waste, the threat to the environment and human health, as well as solutions to reduce the impact of this problem; City card is a leaflet dedicated to the German public with further advice for consumers.
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WEB SITE AND SOCIAL NETWORK
The LIFE Blue Lakes website has been online since April 2021 and is constantly updated with news, articles, activities in which partners are involved and news concerning microplastics and inland water protection in general. It is updated with news, insights and documents, national and international events promoted by the partners or those involved in water protection and the fight against microplastics.
The site of each partner links to lifebluelakes.eu and every time contacts are made for events or collaborations, a banner is proposed to drive traffic data to the project site
Article writing follows SEO Search Engine Optimisation to increase organic traffic to a web page.
Google Analytics is used to monitor the website. Thanks to this tool, various types of statistics can be observed such as session duration, origin of visits, number of pages visited, most viewed pages, geographic location, etc. The monitoring of the site lifebluelakes.eu has been active since 19 March 2021.
LIFE Blue Lakes communication is carried out on four social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. A Facebook page dedicated to the project has been opened to create a specific container for project-related topics. As for Twitter and Instagram, Legambiente pages are used to take advantage of an existing fan base that is already aware of the project’s themes. The same applies to YouTube, where the Legambiente Onlus channel has a playlist dedicated to Blue Lakes.
Since the beginning of the project, media relations have seen different levels of action depending on the area of reference but also on the type of messages disseminated. LIFE Blue Lakes focuses on a scientific theme but aims to address different targets ranging from specialized to general public. The actions of the project can involve different languages, among which it is worth mentioning the artistic one if you think of the promotion of the show Monday, which brings to the theater the theme of microplastics and takes place within the action D.2. The tools available to the project to get in touch with the media and spread the issues to multiple targets are:
– Press releases;
– Press conferences;
Since the beginning of the project LIFE Blue Lakes publishes press releases written in collaboration with the members of the Communication Working Group.
Press conferences and presentation events, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, have seen an increase only since the summer of 2021, so it is in this period that there has been the opportunity to strengthen the relationship with journalists in the areas affected by the Italian Lakes Monitoring Campaign, the transfer activities with the Environmental Protection Agencies focused on the sampling protocol and the presentation of the Lake Papers. Updates on these activities enrich the NEWS section of the website in both English and German.
On these occasions, interviews were given by the territorial representatives involved in various ways in the project, but there were also requests for interviews in online periodicals, television programs and television news.
The communication activity produces a press review that is published periodically in this dedicated section of the site.
The news related to LIFE Blue Lakes are usually relaunched by printed and online newspapers, television and web services on channels that reach a wide audience as in Italy are Rai News 24, Repubblica, Il fatto Quotidiano or Italia 1. The articles and television reports are available not only in the press review page, but also in the VIDEO page.
The project also has an adequate response regarding the different target groups. In fact, the articles are published by publications with different editorial lines: such as sector websites dedicated to the topic of plastics, online magazines for an environmentalist audience and newspapers for readers attentive to critical consumption
SEMINARS, CONGRESSES AND CONFERENCES
26/06 Legambiente participated in the event “Moby Litter – the future we don’t want” organized by UNIVPM presenting objectives and activities of the Life Blue Lakes.
18/09 Legambiente participated at the event “Dalla lavatrice ai ghiacciai passando per il lago di Como”
25/09 The project was presented in occasion of NET – Scienza Insieme: public event addressed to students
09/10 Legambiente presented LIFE Blue Lakes at Life Blue Med
19/10 GNF participated to a videoconference with representative of project “ConCirMy” on sustainability aspects in the tyre supply chain
03/11 UNIVPM presented LIFE Blue Lakes project at Ecomondo within the conference “Approvvigionamento idrico sostenibile e resiliente in agricoltura: il ruolo delle grandi infrastrutture idriche e del riuso delle acque reflue depurate”.
27/10 LCF participated to the online event “DUH – German Returnable Systems Conference”
05/11 LCF participated to the online event “Plastics-free city – how companies move forward”
27/11 Attended GNF at Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency (LBDCA), Hungary, organizes a 24-hour long online conference marathon for the protection and sustainable management of lakes and lake basins in the world.
03/12 GNF Participated in online event “Bioplastics – What can they do? Research, fields of application and potentials”
15/12 ABDAC, Legambiente, ENEA and UNIVPM have attended the periodic meeting of the Permanent Observatory of Central Appennine’s Water Uses.
14/01 GNF Participated in event “Marine Pollution – Models, Research & Cruises, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research»
25/02 LCF and GNF participated to the online event “BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues: “Smart Water for Resilient Cities”.
17/03 GNF participated in the final conference of the TextileMission project.
15/03 LCF presented LIFE Blue Lakes at Surfrider Bodensee-Club
21/04 ABDAC, Legambiente, ENEA and UNIVPM have attended the periodic meeting of the Permanent Observatory of Central Appennine’s Water Uses.
27/04 the project was presented at the press conference of the Festival of Sustainability which will be held in May on Lake Garda and willpromote the workshops for the shared writing of the Lake Paper.
06/05 ARPA Umbria presented LIFE Blue Lakes at L’alfabeto per l’Ecologia
07/05 GNF and LCF: First round table took place with the participation of representatives from local communes, science, wastewaterassociations.