CommsConsult was asked by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to carry out social media reporting from their day-long session at the World Water Congress, held in May 2015 in the beautiful city of Edinburgh.

IDRC’s session presented research on the theme of ‘Climate Change and Water Challenges: solutions from the developing world’, in order to highlight the Climate Change and Water Programme’s policy relevant, applied research conducted across a range of developing countries. The special session recognised that the voices of researchers from developing countries are often unheard, despite being best placed to speak to and address the consequences of Climate Change.

CommsConsult was asked to increase the visibility of the day-long event and ensure that the research presentations and TV style debate were both lively and impactful.

Strategic Communication

To add some sparkle to the conference proceedings, CommsConsult provided facilitation services, which integrated social media and digital activities, enabling a much larger audience to participate in and engage with the event.

CommsConsult Director Megan Lloyd-Laney facilitated a number of research presentations throughout the day and finished the event with a TV style debate, which incorporated questions gathered from social media audiences.

In order to ensure maximum engagement on the day, CommsConsult generated a dedicated Twitter handle to bring together questions from followers around the world, using the hashtag #CCadaptQs. In the week leading up to the event a number of audience mapping and influence analyses were conducted in order to build an engaged and relevant audience around the event. On the day social media was used to provide live coverage of the event and was brought ‘into the room’ by the integration of visual platforms such as Instagram.

CommsConsult were also responsible for creating a number of legacy products for the event, including the summative video on the left. This film captured the key messages of the event and provided a snapshot of the topics discussed and the nature of those discussions.


Prior to the event the editorial unit developed stories and online promotional material. News stories were generated and published for both the company website and Research to Action.  Two tailored email campaigns were generated and delivered: one to all attendees of the World Water Congress and another to a pre-identified audience of climate change actors and experts.

The content developed by the editorial unit ensured that information regarding the IDRC’s event reached over 7,000 individuals and provided a context, tying their activities to current trends of interest around climate change and southern-based research.

The World Water Congress’ dedicated webpage and more photos can be found here.

  • Project Type: Social Reporting
  • Lead Unit: Strategic Communication
  • Client: International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
  • Location: Edinburgh, UK