Global Witness x Catnip Comms

Toxic Friends

As the agency behind Global Witness' ‘Toxic Friends’ campaign for COP26 in 2021, we are proud to have contributed to a powerful initiative that exposed the dangerous relationship between corporations and politics, and the abuse and violence faced by environmental defenders.

Our main goal was to break the hypocritical narrative that big corporations provide solutions to the climate crisis while being a huge part of the problem. We aimed to show that their existence within political spaces must be delegitimised entirely, and those at the frontline of the climate emergency should be empowered to offer real and lasting solutions at COP26.

We created the narrative, key messages, and recommended strategic tactics for Global Witness' social media activity. We also took on community management through influencer outreach which was a huge part of the success of the campaign.

Our curated list of influential voices in the climate change conversation helped us engage with over 160 people from 15 countries. We amplified our message and built meaningful collaborations with partner organisations on behalf of Global Witness such as UK Youth Climate Coalition, Fridays For Future Digital, and Glasgow Calls Out Polluters.

Our social media successes were notable, with the launch tweet for Toxic Friends gaining 180K+ impressions and 2,214 engagements, with amplification from the likes of Greta Thunberg, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Dr Charlie Gardner, and other influential figures in the climate change conversation. 

We also learned that a simple narrative encapsulating all our strategic priorities was effective, and that borrowing tactics from political and community organising - such as building relationships with influential voices on social media - could help us establish longer-term relationships that would shape the future of Global Witness' campaign work.

Our Toxic Friends campaign was the first of its kind for Global Witness. It marked a significant step forward in exposing the dangerous relationship between corporations and politics. Although COP26 and COP27 may have come to an end, the fight for climate justice continues, and we look forward to contributing to future campaigns that raise awareness and inspire action on this critical issue.

We would simply not have achieved the same impact in 2021 without Catnip Comms. Global Witness has worked with Catnip to expand our reach across digital communications, to reach out to new and influential supporters and to run major global campaigns. We would simply not have achieved the same impact in 2021 without Fay and her wonderful team. They are creative, knowledgeable, flexible and incredibly hard-working.

Amy Richards - Director of Communications, Global Witness

Catnip Comms was born out of a love of all things social, a passion for using digital to do good in the world, and a drive to put the social back into social media.

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