Free The Albatross Around Your Net

How do the non-pros sell their stories?

Sadly, mostly badly.

So I was delighted when I heard a green campaign buck the trend.

20 April 2017, Radio 4’s institution that is PM. Highlighting conservation efforts with a “glass half-full mindset”.

The intro report quoted mankind’s impact on avian health. Since the year 1500, 150 bird species have suffered extinction. Today, a further 197 are critically endangered.

An interview with protection programme manager Oli Yates outlined the present problem;

‘we’ve encroached on their habitat … our fishing vessels … overlapping with their habitat … with hotspots of foraging areas’

Then here’s the 30-second response to Eddie Mair’s simple, “so tell me about your project, what is it you’re doing?”;

Albatross Taskforce is a visionary project from the RSPB and BirdLife International and we’re employing people locally in those hotspot areas. So in eight countries across the world, mainly in South America and Southern Africa. And they’re actually going out on to the fishing boats and working really shoulder to shoulder with the fishing captains and the crew on those vessels to help them understand and demonstrate to them how they can fish in a way that’s more sustainable and particularly to avoid catching these birds.”

The interview follow-up was an encouraging, “so how’s it going?”. It was, we were told, “going really well”. Here’s the next thirty-five seconds;

“We’ve just had our tenth anniversary. When we started, ten fisheries that we targeted back in 2007, none of them had regulations, all of them had suspected high bycatch or known high levels of bycatch of these birds. But we’ve conducted a series of experiments that’ve successfully demonstrated that we can actually reduce that bycatch by at least 85% in all of those cases in all of those fisheries. And in South Africa they’ve actually demonstrated now that bycatch of albatross has been reduced by 99% so it’s an incredible success story.”

Finishing with a glorious metric.

The problem-explanation-result template here was guided by an experienced host. One always happy to help those lay-people living beyond the media glare.

In the field solution sellers do not get afforded such niceties.

Neither would you tend to get a full ninety seconds to download all you can blurt out about your wonderful journey.

Yet you can take heart from the above. Each section could be boiled down to a single ten-second snippet. Better still, use your opener to create that all-important conversation.

Begin with the problem you resolve; You’re stopping countless birds join the alarming number driven to death by our fishing recklessness.

Add impact; Your work has already reduced this in special places to almost zero.

Surely then, an interested party would ask ‘how’… and you’re off and running.

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