2019: So Far, So Great

Where has the time gone? In a blink, we have already seen the first half of 2019 whizz by. 

In order to reflect on our recent placements, and understand the impact, we have checked in with the various social partners we have worked with since January.

We have had 8 TIE placements since then, and were keen to know the results of our various projects, and the impact made to the many stakeholders involved.

It would be an understatement to say that we were absolutely thrilled by the news that came through to us.

One of our first projects this year was a follow-up on a project we had in 2018 with the Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF) and Matt Roach, from Anomaly. 

Matt went to Mozambique to help MMF design a communications campaign to launch MEGA Expeditions: diving expeditions devised by MMF as a way to inject much needed capital into the organisation, in order to cover overhead costs and allow them to continue their vital work of protecting marine life. Matt’s Go Deeper campaign leveraged what differentiates MEGA Expeditions from competitors: their profound knowledge of the sea and prime location in Mozambique. Once the Go Deeper campaign was launched towards the end of 2018, the challenge then became how to reach its main audience and how to sell the diving spots — which was the focus of our next TIE project with MMF. You can read about the campaign that Matt created here.

And so in January 2019 Mika Singh from WPP worked with MMF, picking up from where Matt had left off.

Mika created a sales pipeline for the diving expeditions that reached MMF’s target audience for this product: divers who have been to the world’s best diving spots and are looking for a tailored experience, assisted by MMF’s marine biologists.

Soon after Mika’s placement, however, cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, and we were really concerned. Not only due to the significant devastation, we were also concerned about the potential impact on the organisation, and their diving expeditions. Thankfully, Tofo beach made it through the cyclone without severe damages, and MMF’s August 2019 expedition is sold out!

This means they will be well on their way to be able to cover their major overhead costs for next year, proves the model works, and that the system created by Mika was a success. This will now allow them to start adding new locations to the offer, implementing Mika’s model to ensure continued success. You can read more about Mika’s experience here.

Moving over to Brazil, this past March we had two amazing placements taking place simultaneously in the city of Recife. Each, extremely successful in its own right.

Sam Cheetham, from BBH London, worked with GTP+, a local NGO that advocates for the rights of HIV+ people.

Sam spent a month helping them design a campaign to raise awareness of the availability of PrEP (‘Pre-exposure prophylaxis’, a medicine that if taken correctly greatly reduces the risk of HIV contraction) within the Brazilian public health system.

Almost no one knew about PrEP and the fact that it was available for free at a local hospital. The target audience for this campaign was 15 – 21 year old sex workers, men who have sex with men and trans people from the poorest parts of Recife, who are more subject than most to the HIV virus.

The strategy used was to encourage them to get tested and look after themselves as part of making money and looking after their business, instead of the usual approach of lecturing sex workers on health and relationships.

The campaign was launched, and according to GTP+, they have perceived an increased awareness of PrEP amongst the sex worker community with whom they work. And today, four months later, the hospital branch responsible for PrEP in Recife is fully booked for the next two months. You can read more about Sam’s placement here

Susan Min from VMLY&R New York designed a campaign, also in Recife,  for educational NGO SomosProfessores to inform public school teachers about SomosProfessores’ Alavanca Project. 

The Alavanca Project seeks to support public school teachers in the city of Jaboatão dos Guararapes who wish to carry out extra-curricular projects with their students, but lacked funding and support to do so. Moreover, the organisation knew that many teachers in this neglected school system were short of self-confidence to be able to pursue these extra-curricular projects. So SomosProfessores designed the Alavanca Project as a means to support both financially and pedagogically innovative projects within the public school system of Jaboatão, therefore increasing student engagement with the school inside and outside the classroom. 

The idea was great; however, the organisation struggled to get the word out among Jaboatão teachers about Alavanca Project inscriptions and getting them to sign up, a situation that threatened the success of the project. As such, they weren’t expecting more than 80 candidates for Alavanca.

However, after the TIE communication campaign was launched, the organisation got nearly 200 candidates pitching projects for their students.

This allowed SomosProfessores to handpick 15 different projects from 15 different teachers based on the impact that these would have on the students’ learning. Today, they are supporting and overseeing the successful implementation of these 15 extra-curricular projects, in fields as diverse as robotics, cultural rights and waste management, all with a view to improving the students’ education, and reaching hundreds of students in Jaboatão dos Guararapes. You can know more about Susan’s experience here

In June we finished a project with the Lao Disabled Women’s Development Centre (LDWDC), an NGO from Laos which advocates for and provides training to disabled women so that they become empowered and emancipated individuals. The Octopus Group sent Emma Ryan to help LDWDC improve its advocacy and fundraising strategy, which she did by helping the centre not only apply for international grants, which they got as a result of Emma’s applications, but also by helping with their marketing strategy, which relates to the handicraft made by the centre’s beneficiaries and are its main source of income.

Already looking forward to see what the next round of placements have in store for us. Stay tuned!


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