Makes for Good Conservation Storytelling- A Dialog with Ben Hamilton

2 August 2020
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Working as a contract writer, I’ve the privilege of coming all through many cutting-edge producers and organizations that are making the world a higher place. 

Luckily, Hamilton made some time to sit down down down with me and reply just some questions on his firm. If you’re an aspiring videographer or a marketer who wants to help save the world, his notion may assist steer you within the correct route. 

With out further adieu, proper right here’s what we talked about: 

1. You’re a “Conservation” Storyteller—What Does that Suggest?

Hamilton:

My definition of a Conservation Storyteller is someone who helps translate conservation messages, (like, we’ve got to chop again ocean plastic waste), into tales so that audiences can relate to them.  We work with non-profits, foundations, and scientific institutions to good essential conservation messages out to the world.  In right now’s digital panorama, most of that storytelling occurs on-line and as a corporation we give consideration to motion pictures to drive basically essentially the most engagement.  

2. And Video Promoting and advertising is Your Specialty, Correct? How Does that Work?

Hamilton:

My most important medium for storytelling is through video manufacturing and I’ve spent the earlier decade engaged on motion pictures for BBC, Nationwide Geographic, and Smithsonian—proper right here’s a method of definitely one in all our latest initiatives.

Most of that time has been spent honing my craft as a visual storyteller, nonetheless the promoting and advertising side is one factor we’ve got now solely not too way back gotten really involved in. For us, video promoting and advertising is about understanding audiences so we’ll craft content material materials that is relatable, persuasive, and most importantly, centered. We want to know the place audiences are on-line and at what situations, what content material materials they watch, who they adjust to, and what they like.  

After we combine all of that, we’ll craft hyper-targeted tales for each viewers sort, and that is the place we start to see an precise affect on the world. 

3. How’s You Get Started as a Videographer?

Hamilton:

As a baby I was obsessive about movement photos like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, and ultimately, I went to film faculty on the School of Texas to pursue my dream of turning right into a director. 

I didn’t even know there have been people who made a career making documentary motion pictures. Rising up, I beloved the surface, and my freshman 12 months, I pitched a quick video a number of conservation effort in Alaska with the hopes of mountaineering and kayaking inside the wildest place in North America. I fell in love with the wilderness and that enterprise launched me once more to Alaska all 4 summers of faculty and resulted in me transferring up there after graduation. 

Which have, luck, and networking landed me a job at Nationwide Geographic, and I moved to Washington D.C. the place I was immersed on this planet of pure historic previous and non-profit motion pictures. I needed to stay neutral—I like that lifestyle—so I started my very personal agency and the rest is historic previous!

4. What are Quite a lot of the Most Very important Conservation Factors Throughout the World?

Hamilton:

That could possibly be a reasonably laborious question to answer. 

I consider conservation as a worth system the place we prioritize humanity’s properly being, along with completely different life over the long-term. A whole lot of the conservation ethics are grounded in humility and restraint, and looking on the world by means of that lens. Now, just about speaking, a number of of the big factors we’re involved in are Ocean Plastic Air air pollution, Seafood Bycatch, Native climate Change, Land Use Change (deforestation, conversion for agriculture, and lots of others), Invasive Species, Endangered Species….the guidelines could go on. 

I’ve personally seen glaciers disappear in my fast career, I’ve filmed a frog inside the rainforest that is now thought to be extinct, and I’ve seen plastic waste on a number of of essentially the most distant seashores on earth. I don’t want my youngsters to develop up in a world the place we’ve got now paved over each half and the marvel and selection that makes life so explicit is just a memory

5. What Do Conservationists Should Make an Impression with their Tales?

Hamilton:

Conservationists are typically engaged on the sides of our planet. 

They’re on the doorway strains and typically act as a result of the canaries inside the coal mine. There are massive NGOs that are already doing enormous campaigns, nonetheless numerous our purchasers at Wild Firm are common people who want to get the message out that one factor is going on and that they need higher than their small neighborhood to affix forces to help clear up it. 

That is the place storytelling is accessible in. We help translate and amplify their messages to audiences to drive affect and movement.

6. Can You Make clear Your Method for Conservation Storytelling?

Hamilton:

To put it merely, we adjust to a 5-step technique: 

  1. We set an affect goal  
  2. Based mostly totally on that goal we evaluation audiences to know them 
  3. We craft purpose tales for these audiences 
  4. We then facilitate the provision of those tales on-line 
  5. We monitor this course of from beginning to end to guage our affect

7. Do You Assume COVID-19 Will Change Conservation Efforts Shifting Forward?

Hamilton:

If COVID-19 has confirmed us one thing, it is that social media is the primary strategy human beings are consuming content material materials. 

Many non-profits have not completely devoted to social media promoting and advertising as part of their method, nonetheless transferring forward, it is not an risk. The one strategy—and one of many easiest methods—to achieve centered audiences is on social media, and I really feel we’re going to see additional educated and better-crafted tales for these mediums transferring forward.

8. What Suggestion Do You Have for Organizations or People Who Must Share their Conservation Tales?

Hamilton:

My largest piece of advice is to imagine prolonged and laborious about what you want to acquire with a little bit of content material materials and let that goal drive each half in a advertising marketing campaign. 

The additional clear and outlined your goal, the upper you might push for outcomes. Then, after you are completed with the advertising marketing campaign, have the discover to take a look on the outcomes and really research from them.

9. One thing Else You’d Want to Share?

Hamilton:

We’ve merely launched our new Wild Firm web page, and we welcome anyone to our neighborhood who wants to check additional about strategies to heal the planet.

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