Drury has been an advisor and communications partner to Science Foundation Ireland since 2015.
Drury worked with Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) on Science Week 2020 to provide people across Ireland with the opportunity to ask questions about the science behind our society, how we make decisions about our future and explore how science explains the world around us.
Science Week is a national celebration of science with hundreds of events for people of all ages taking place virtually and across Ireland. Science Week 2020 marked the 25th anniversary of the event and took place from the 8th – 15th November.
The theme for Science Week 2020 was Choosing Our Future and our communications objective was to support conversations amongst the public about what they want the future of Ireland to look like, and how science can and should support the hope we have for our collective future.
SFI aims to have the most engaged and scientifically informed public, and in 2020, our Science Week objective was to engage with young adults aged 18 – 35; a core audience segment which research revealed is one of the least engaged with science and STEM compared with other age groups.
Approach and Execution:
• Pivoting from previous years and in-person events, 2020 ran virtually due to COVID-19.
• Knowing that this audience lives online, we developed a fresh, digital-focused approach to capture the attention of our target audience and encourage more active participation in Science Week.
• Drury developed a digital-first approach to capture the attention of our target audience and encourage participation in a virtual Science Week.
• Our approach involved a detailed digital strategy, paid partnerships with media (traditional and online), podcasts and influencers, and extensive media relations. Our approach was crucial in reaching our target audience of 18 – 35 year-olds who typically have a lower level of engagement with science.
• We developed an extensive influencer partnership plan with top tiered, mid-range and micro influencers to target a range of audiences and have a breadth of content developed. Influencer partners were tasked with creating unique and creative content that demonstrated how science helped ‘Choose Our Future’ and affected the partners in day-to-day life. Influencer partners included: Doireann Garrihy, Kieran Corrigan, Carl Mullan, The Caribbean Dub, Nadia Power.
• To further reach our target audience, we partnered with various well-known podcasts and had Science Week experts act as featured guests. During these podcasts the Science Week experts relayed the campaign key messages in an organic, educational, and captivating podcast episode. Podcast partners included: Bandwagons, The Laughs of Your Life, Rory’s Stories.
• We also engaged with video content creators to broaden our reach. Working with both Rory’s Stories and Dirt Birds, fun and engaging video content was created to engage with our target audiences across social media.
• Knowing it would be difficult to bring an audience that isn’t engaged with science to SFI owned channels, we worked with multiple media organisations that our audience engage with, to create content. These included, the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Journal.ie, Newstalk, Today FM and youth radio stations.
• Working with SFI on the Science Week campaign, Drury was able to deliver a wide-ranging communication strategy that incorporated a number of key elements including developing a clear and accessible narrative to ensure we engaged with the general public and target audience as well as the science community.
• To fully understand our reach and impact, research was commissioned with iReach following Science Week 2020 showed that:
• More than 1 in 4 (27%) engaged with the topic of Science Week in 2020, up 10% on 2019.
• More than 1 in 5 (up 7% from 2019) said they were aware of Science Week 2020 and participated in it.
• Our influencer partnership campaign which ran across our partners Instagram channels received over 136,540 post impressions and 333,150 story impressions. Reaching 428, 137 people.
• Our digital media activity (podcasts, videos) was viewed or listened to over 555, 914 times.
• Our media partnership articles were viewed over 130,000 times.