The Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA)

How PLMR Genesis helped ZSEA with its ‘Wild About Survival’ appeal


The Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA)

The Situation

The Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA) is the conservation education charity which runs Banham Zoo in Norfolk and Africa Alive in Suffolk. It inspires communities to connect with nature and educate on the importance of protecting the future of our planet.

The impact of the first national lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic was devastating for the charity. By the time PLMR Genesis was appointed in May 2020, ZSEA had lost more than £1.5 million of income. To ensure the survival of the much-loved zoos and a sustainable future for ZSEA, the charity underwent a major restructure and redundancy programme. To survive the closure period and rebuild, the charity needed income quickly, so a fundraising campaign was launched seeking the support of local communities.

What we did

Clear messaging was developed to position the financial crisis and the changes which needed to be made, whilst protecting and managing the charity’s brand reputation during the major restructure. The PLMR Genesis team acted quickly and responsively to ensure a) accurate/timely information was given on business changes, b) vital funds were raised and c) the government were lobbied for life-line support.

The Result

The ‘Wild About Survival’ appeal was created to engage the community’s help. Eye-catching creatives, which featured an endangered Amur Tiger, were used in a targeted Facebook campaign to encourage the public to donate. PLMR Genesis also created a wellbeing campaign to bring to life ZSEA’s strategic aim of connecting people with nature for wellbeing. The campaign premise was that a zoo visit, or activity such as volunteering or fundraising for ZSEA, boosted physical and mental wellbeing. As a result of these campaigns, more than £63,000 was raised for the charity, social media channels received 12,602 new followers in 12 months and we secured more than 170 pieces of media coverage including features in The Daily Mail and The Telegraph.

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PLMR’s crisis communications experience is second to none, and includes pre-emptive and reactive work across traditional and social media channels. We work with a range of organisations to offer critical communication support when they are faced with difficult and challenging scenarios.