Orca Salmon Alliance Public Relations
Whale and Dolphin Conservation
In 2015, 48 West Agency began working closely with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), the leading global non-profit dedicated to the conservation protection of whales and dolphins. The primary goal: preventing the treasured Southern Resident orcas (the only orca population listed under the Endangered Species Act [ESA] in the U.S.) from sliding towards extinction. There are currently only 78 individuals remaining in the wild - this pod is on the brink of extinction. Leading to their perilous status are the orcas' finicky eating habits. Their main food source is Chinook salmon, and today, habitat loss and barriers to Chinook salmon migration have decimated that population by over 90%. One of the best tools to bring the orca populations back up is to focus on recovering the wild Chinook populations upon which the whales depend for their survival.
WDC asked 48 West for Public Relations support to highlight these Southern Resident orcas who travel along the U.S. West Coast from the Pacific Northwest all the way down to Laguna Beach, California. As 48 West dove into planning and strategy with WDC, it was clear that a unique grassroots effort called the Orca Salmon Alliance (OSA) was important to spread the word about how to keep Southern Resident killer whales and the wild salmon they eat from disappearing from our waters. We collaborated with twelve different human rights and Environmental organizations for five months leading up to the event to deliver a successful grassroots effort. Through 48 West’s extensive media expertise, relationships and outreach efforts, several media outlets covered the event, including local TV stations as well as print and online, raising awareness and education about what action was needed to protect and restore these two remarkable, intertwined species.
- Brand & Messaging Development
- Public Relations
- Social Media
- Influencer Marketing
- Finalist 2017 American Marketing Association Spectrum Awards for Local Public Relations.
- The event sold out, more than 300 guests were in attendance to hear experts discuss and explore the critical connections between Columbia Basin salmon and Southern Resident Killer Whales and to learn ways to recover these valuable species.
- Distinguished keynote speaker, Dr. Carl Safina, acclaimed scientist and award-winning author, talked about some of the experiences he has had with Southern Resident Killer Whales.
- An expert panel of speakers included four Southern Whale and Chinook salmon experts.
- 3:40 guest appearance on Seattle’s KOMO 4 TV morning segment show with host Cayle Thompson.
- Print: Skagit Valley Herald, goskagit.com.
- Online: Kitsap Sun(Part of the USA Today Network), Puget Sound Blog.
- Online: The Huffington Post.