With support from the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund, Marketing and Communications Advisor, Ash Howell is currently in Vietnam on a conservation adventure working with our conservation partner Fauna & Flora International.
I can’t believe I only have a few days left in Vietnam – my 4 weeks here have raced by!
I have spent most of my time in the FFI office which is based in Hanoi, Vietnam.
For the past 3+ weeks, I have been busy analysing FFI’s current social media channels and I created a social media strategy that includes; audience insights, a channel strategy for Instagram and Facebook, goals and objectives, a social media policy for all staff, guidelines, a language guide and an activation plan.
This strategy will assist FFI in their goal to raise more awareness of Vietnam’s primates and unique biodiversity, as well as raising the profile of FFI within the Vietnamese community.
As part of FFI’s strategy, the Facebook page will be bilingual in both English and Vietnamese. It’s been really interesting developing content in two languages! Luckily, I have had Quynh, FFI’s Communications intern to help me translate everything.
This past week I have been working with Quynh to establish some content ideas before I leave and help set up a social media content calendar so that FFI can plan content ahead of time. This has been part of my overall objective to build capacity, so that Quynh can carry on the work I have developed and grow the strategy in the future.
I also filmed and edited a video of one of FFI’s Community Conservation Team (CTT) members in Pu Mat National Park talking about the struggles of patrolling the park and what kind of illegal activities are affecting the Northern White-Cheeked Gibbon. We posted this video with English subtitles on the FFI Facebook page and it’s already had great organic reach and engagement.
Over the weekend I took a personal trip to Van Long to see the Delacour’s Langurs – another flagship primate species that FFI are working hard to preserve. I was so lucky to spot 4 groups of langurs and a small group of Assamese Macaques while out on the boats!
While the Zoo is focusing their support on the White-Cheek Gibbon project in Pu Mat National Park, it was amazing to see some of the other primates that live in Vietnam and gain a greater understanding of FFI’s other conservation work throughout the region.
Now that my 4 weeks are coming to an end, I have been reflecting on my time here in Vietnam and to say I enjoyed myself, is an understatement. It’s been an amazing month and I feel I have accomplished the majority of what I wanted to achieve while here which is great.
I feel incredibly privileged to have worked alongside such a wonderful group of people for four weeks. I want to say a big thank you to the FFI team as they have been so welcoming, and enthusiastic to work with. Their dedication and passion is inspiring and I can’t wait to see some more exciting content on the FFI Facebook and Instagram pages.
I also want to acknowledge the support I’ve received from the Zoo’s Conservation Fund. I wouldn’t be here without it and I am so grateful to be one of 5 staff members lucky enough to have received a conservation staff grant for this financial year. Being able to share my expertise with another organisation has been incredibly rewarding and I have learnt so much.
I lastly want to thank our Wellington community for loving and supporting the Zoo because without your support, I also wouldn't be here. Through the Zoo's Conservation Fund, we provide a lot of financial support for our conservation partners to help save animals in the wild, but it also allows Zoo staff to travel and build capacity in other ways - for example my trip to Vietnam to help develop a social media strategy.
It’s been bittersweet saying goodbye, but I’m looking forward to returning to the Zoo on Monday and getting stuck into developing some new content for the Zoo!
Read Ash's first blog here and second blog here.