It’s that time of the year again! As 2021 draws to a close and we prepare to switch on our out of offices, we wanted to share our favourite content of the year with you. Here’s what bedazzled us, inspired us, made us laugh and gave us hope these past twelve months.
Jan – The Anthropocene Reviewed
John Green’s famous collection of personal essays reviewing different facets of our human-centred planet comes in both book and podcast form. From the QWERTY keyboard to Canada Geese and Penguins of Madagascar, you’re bound to find something you’re curious about.
The series has received public acclaim, with our Strategic Director Jan one of the converted. He described it as:
“A wonderful, heart-warming collection of essays or episodes describing our footprint and impact on the planet.”
If you’re inching towards the podcast, one of his favourite episodes is The Penguins of Madagascar and the Smallpox Vaccine.
Lucia – ExxonMobil’s 2021 journey and the accompanying media coverage
ExxonMobil has had… a year. The events unfolding around the fossil fuel giant this year particularly caught the eye of our PR Manager Lucia, firstly in February when Exxon reported a “historic annual loss.” Partly due to the ongoing pandemic, this financial hammering is a signal of the changing world and a warning sign to all fossil fuel giants. Later in 2021, we witnessed how one activist shareholder could significantly impact the company’s future, and Lucia found this Bloomberg analysis of the goings-on particularly insightful:
“To me, this story fits in with a wider trend of activists using business and legal tools to create change. We saw it in the Netherlands, where Shell was taken to court over its carbon emissions. It also happened in Germany, where the supreme constitutional court made a landmark ruling that “the government’s climate protection measures [were] insufficient to protect future generations.”
Lee – Google Earth’s new tool
Back in Spring, Google Earth installed a new 3D time-lapse feature enabling users to observe how our planet has changed between 1984 and 2020, including the devastating effects of climate change. Users can search for a specific place or take one of Google’s five ‘guided tours’ covering forest change, urban growth, warming temperatures, mining and renewable energy sources and the Earth’s fragile beauty.
If you think you can lose track of time while scrolling on Twitter, ask our Head of PR Lee how much time he’s spent exploring this new feature:
“This is an excellent example of utilising technology to capture people’s attention. Using popular software such as Google Earth to illustrate climate change will help increase the public’s understanding of the impact it’s having – and has already had – on some of our most precious and beautiful areas, including beaches, glaciers and forests.”
Inès – Andreas Lindén’s work
Andreas Lindén is a Swedish graphic designer who uses his LinkedIn account to educate his audience about branding, particularly brand image and logos. He has become our Marketing Manager Inès’ go-to reference when it comes to brand-related content:
“While not a brand manager or designer myself, the reason why he’s my favourite content creator of 2021 is that he’s the perfect example of what great content looks like.”
Here’s a checklist from Inès to keep in mind when devising your own content creation strategy:
- Educational – he shares practical tips and personal insights on brand image.
- Entertaining – via his tone of voice and playful design.
- Short and ‘snackable’ – his message and values fit into a carousel.
- Recognisable – every time I see one of his posts in my newsfeed, I can tell it’s his by the content format, colour and tone of voice.
Even if you don’t speak Swedish, his content is still a treat for the eyes.
Helene – CTAAS (Christmas-Tree-as-a-Service)
Very few things say Christmas time like the smell of a Christmas tree. However, we all know how unsustainable it is to put one up in your living room every year. Our PR Trainee Helene has found Weihnachtsurwald, a German company that provides a solution to this predicament:
“Their interesting concept is Christmas-Tree-as-a-Service. It’s basically a Christmas tree rental service, where you can lease a replantable Nordmann fir. I find the idea very convincing and hope that it’ll become more and more popular in the future.”
Martha – Ten ways to confront the climate crisis without losing hope
Many of us found COP26 and its outcomes disappointing, including our PR Intern Martha. However,, she found this Guardian article by American writer and journalist Rebecca Solnit as a soothing balm for climate anxiety:
“This article is a good antidote to a couple of weeks of quite disappointing COP26 news! It puts forward several good arguments for why we have good reason to maintain a positive mindset about the future of our climate.”
Manon – Vancouver’s Wall for Women
Art is often used to convey activist messages and raise awareness of important issues. Vancouver’s “Wall for Women” was commissioned by the YWCA Metro Vancouver – an association working towards advancing gender equality – and painted by artist Ola Volo. As well as featuring a striking message about intimate partner violence in Canada, it also carries a secret.
Depicting a queen rising with newfound strength, the beautiful art piece aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence during the pandemic. The twist is that QR codes are hidden throughout the mural. So when someone takes a picture of it, their camera app will recognise the code and link to the YWCA Metro Vancouver website, where they can learn more about domestic violence and donate to the association’s programmes.
Our PR Manager Manon found the reasoning behind creating this mural brilliant and something the environmental sector could be inspired by.
“This mural is a brilliant way to take activist art one step further. Street art has become a hugely popular art form, with thousands of people taking pictures of murals. Integrating QR codes is a smart way of raising further awareness and helping associations receive more funding. The environmental sector is increasingly using art to raise awareness about climate change, and this creative idea is definitely something that should be considered.”
We hope this content selection will inspire you during the festive break. If you’re looking for more content, then check out what we’ve been writing this year.
Stay safe and well, and happy holidays from the entire Life Size team!