How Research-Driven Organizations Become Thought Leaders

Beware of Successful Launches

The new UN-backed report out this week assessing the extent of global biodiversity in crisis had, by anyone’s metrics, a boffo launch: lots of global coverage and plenty of commentary placed in elite media by report authors and other heavyweights. Money quote from Nature:

Biodiversity should be at the top of the global agenda alongside climate, said Anne Larigauderie, IPBES executive secretary, at a 6 May press conference in Paris, France. “We can no longer say that we did not know,” she said.

This morning, Axios Generate has an item (not the lead item, not #2, but #6) about how UN Secretary-General Guterres is “trying to rev up global efforts to achieve climate goals that are slipping out of reach.”

This, after many of those same world leaders agreed in 2015 to achieve those goals, and after the UN’s October report on the steps needed to limit global mean temperature rise to 1.5C.

A report that, you might recall, also had a widely covered launch.

Launches are classic comms. There is nothing like a launch for getting those media hit and social numbers up.

What matters, though, is what people are talking and thinking about six months after launch, or sixteen months.

Takeaway: If you put all of your effort into a launch and none into mounting a long-lead post-launch campaign that keeps your ideas and solutions top of mind, then you might end up “at the top of the global agenda alongside climate.”

Which is to say: Not at the top of the global agenda.