Carrie Hutchison is Director, Brand and Marketing, at Re:wild, an organization whose mission is to “rewild” and restore natural environments across the world. Active in more than 80 countries, in 2021 the organization and its partners helped conserve more than 200 million acres and has driven direct conservation efforts for 160 threatened species while leveraging support for an additional 30,000 species.
“A lot of people think of nature as something to be pitied; rescued; saved; but they don’t think of it as the solution to the interconnected crises we’re all seeing,” notes Carrie. “There’s the human health crisis that we saw with the pandemic, there’s biodiversity loss and extinction, and ecosystems being degraded, and of course there’s the big climate change crisis threat that we’re all facing these days. So it’s not just about protecting animals or trees because we think that they’re wonderful, which they are, but it’s really the solution to all those problems that we’re facing.”
Carrie recently served on a panel at Advertising Week New York entitled “How Nonprofits Can Meaningfully Engage And Compel People to Take Action,” and I wanted to learn more about it. Partnerships – with brands and nonprofits — are integral to Re:wild’s conservation mission. “We had a really great conversation about how to leverage your brand and also partner to get people to pay attention to your mission,” said Carrie. “I think the big takeaway there was… make sure you’re protecting your constituents first and foremost.”
Carrie and I discuss the role that storytelling plays in branding and whether brand partners make maximum use of storytelling opportunities. We then turn to how Re:wild is using partnerships to promote awareness of its mission, why it’s important for any partners to be “good fits” and also why it’s vital to ensure consumers that there is no “greenwashing” involved in the partnership.
Carrie is excited by the prospects for her organization in 2023. “Biodiversity is finally getting into media a lot more. I feel like there’s been a misunderstanding about why biodiversity is important, and it’s getting a lot more media coverage and it needs to get a lot more. We have a wonderful communications team with deep relationships with environmental reporters; we need more of those reporters to be biodiversity-focused; we need more of them. So I’m excited that that team is going to be moving forward on encouraging those efforts and helping journalists understand issues better and helping them tell those stories.”