Targeting stakeholders' interests

As we have seen throughout this course, GBIF provides value across a range of scientific and policy-relevant thematic areas, and the benefits of participating in GBIF are wide ranging, from technology and infrastructure-related benefits, to capacity development, to supporting research, and to helping to fulfil national commitments under related multilateral environmental agreements. The GBIF communication strategy introduces the importance of targeting your messages to align with the needs and interests of your specific audience.

Remember that GBIF Participant countries may have different priorities and interests depending on which Ministry signs the Memorandum of Understanding: for example, Ministries of Environment often oversee the responsibilities under the Convention on Biological Diversity, while Ministries of Science may oversee research infrastructures and funding within the country.

Preparing a pitch - Exercise 2

For this exercise, you will prepare and role-play a succinct and convincing pitch to a relevant Ministry of your choice in order to engage them towards GBIF Participation.

In preparing your pitch, consider the specific needs and interests of the Ministry you wish to target.

A pitch should be short - you should be prepared to deliver it within no more than three minutes. The aim is to provide just enough information to prompt interest and questions that will allow you to provide additional details in response.

GBIF’s future depends in part on remaining useful and relevant to a relatively small number of decision makers in key policymaking and funding positions. If these funders and executives are unconvinced of GBIF’s utility value, it will not survive even if all other aspects of its communication strategy are successful. The communication needs of this group are characterized by brevity and clarity; messages must be conveyed strategically, succinctly and persuasively, and often delivered opportunistically and at short notice. Decision makers are the primary consumers of the ‘elevator pitch’—the 30-second explanation of GBIF’s value that can influence participation or withdrawal of support from governments and agencies.
— GBIF Communication Strategy
Role-playing pitching a case for GBIF Participation, BID workshop on establishing GBIF Participant nodes, Cameroon, 2019.

Develop and role play a pitch based on the use case scenario for the fictitious country of Darwinia. Document your pitch in your exercise 2 sheet (available on the Files for download page). Consider also the types of questions that a Ministry representative might ask in response to a pitch on GBIF, and keep note of these in your exercise sheet.

Step 1: Decide which Ministry you intend to target from Darwinina. Explain why you have chosen this Ministry.

Step 2: Write out your pitch, targeting what you think would be the main rationale for joining GBIF that would be of interest to the Ministry you have selected. This can be in the form of a complete script, or just bullet points to cover the points you wish to raise.

Step 3: Organize a session to role play your pitch with your peer learning group. You will need to allocate at least 60 minutes for this session and remember to record the session.

  • Take it in turn to role play the delivery of a pitch, remembering to inform your group which Ministry you are targeting.

  • The other group members can ask questions, taking on the role of Ministry representatives.

  • Once you have all completed the exercise, take some time to provide each other with feedback. Consider what went well, and what could be done to make it even better next time.

Step 4: Upload your group’s recording into the shared folder on the final assignments page.

Make sure to have fun with this activity - and remember that practice will really help!
Pitching a case for GBIF Participation during BID workshop on establishing GBIF Participant nodes, Trinidad, 2019.