Marshawn Pinch, the Aquarium’s 12th crustacean, makes a media splash
What has eight legs, two claws, lives in a snail shell and serves as the scuttling back for the Seattle Searocks? Marshawn Pinch! And, with your support, he’s been generating a lot of attention for the Seattle Aquarium and its mission.
Aquarium biologists came up with the original idea for Pinch, noting the similarity between the reticence of Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks running back, to talk with the press and a hermit crab’s propensity to withdraw into its shell. Biologist Kathryn Kegel provided a miniature Seahawks helmet from a vending machine, attached it to a hermit crab’s shell—and a media star was born.
Cartoonist Jim Toomey, creator of the marine-themed strip Sherman’s Lagoon and keynote speaker at our inaugural SeaChange fundraising event last year, provided an illustration of Pinch in “Beach Mode” and the Aquarium began actively promoting the campaign. In the week before the NFC playoff game, visitors eagerly sought out Pinch in his exhibit near Life on the Edge, Aquarium divers showed their Seahawks spirit by wearing jerseys and tossing footballs in Window on Washington Waters, and our sea otters happily devoured Seahawks-themed ice toys.
Promotion intensified in the days prior to the Super Bowl, and the Aquarium’s efforts were rewarded with increasing amounts of media attention. To date, the campaign has been featured on national and local television, radio, print and online outlets. It has generated approximately 11,000 visits to our blog, 12,000 shares, 18,000 visits to our website, 2,000 Facebook followers and 1,000 Twitter followers. All told, the campaign has reached 5.2 million people so far.
Timely campaigns such as this offer a tremendous opportunity for the Aquarium to generate awareness and share its mission with new audiences. We thank you for your support, which helped make it happen!
A message from our President & CEO
With 2013 behind us, the Aquarium is planning for a bright future. Our immediate goals for 2014, in accordance with the key initiatives of our strategic plan, are as follows:
- To protect and energize visitorship during seawall construction while building resources for a more financially sustainable operation, including investing substantially in energy efficiency and adding to our reserve fund.
- To implement a mission and messaging plan, finalized in late 2013—look for more details in a future edition of this newsletter.
- To produce and submit our master plan to the Seattle City Council and complete the financial readiness plan to guide fundraising preparation.
- To successfully complete the transition of employees from City to nonprofit management.
- To continue the development of shared values, teamwork and cultural identity throughout our organization.
I look forward to sharing developments with you as we work to achieve these goals and others.