Meet Terry Macko, Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing, World Wildlife Fund
World Wildlife Fund’s mission is to build a future where humans live in harmony with nature. As Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing, Terry Macko manages a supporter base of one million members and over 11 million activists. Learn more about him and his inspiring work in our newest feature.
For those who don’t know you, tell us a little about your background.
I am the senior vice president of communications and marketing at World Wildlife Fund in the United States (WWF) where I manage our supporter base of more than one million WWF members and more than 11 million activists. I work with an incredible team to ensure that our creative expression and messaging across all our communication channels – from marketing, social media, to our website, and news channels, – is impactful and showcases WWF’s mission to build a future where humans live in harmony with nature. Prior to WWF I spent the first half of my career in marketing consumer brands in the telecommunications, internet, and entertainment sectors. And I learned through those experiences that you must have a simple message that resonates with people to engage them and move them to action. It really isn’t that different in mission driven non-profit – sometimes the work we do can be complicated, but we need to communicate about it in a way that is accessible and engaging so that the change we seek is easily understood.
What are you most looking forward to about reviewing Anthem Awards entries?
I am most looking forward to reviewing the entries to learn about other organizations and the people in them, hear their stories and see how they are making a difference. There are so many wonderful purpose driven organizations – including those of my peer Anthem Award judges. Change is hard. We need courageous individuals who have the vision and the stamina to fight for the change they believe in. I can’t wait to learn about them and from them.
What does it take for a project or campaign to cause real-world change?
To achieve real-world impact and change, you need everyone – no matter where you live, what you do, or how old you are. We only have one home – Earth – and we all play a critical role in creating positive change. For example, younger generations are paving the way for a more sustainable future, in what WWF is calling an “eco-wakening”. A new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by WWF, shows a growing number of people around the world are concerned about nature, changing the way they think about sustainability and demanding action to protect the planet. Findings include a staggering 71% rise in popularity of searches for sustainable goods over the past five years, with continuing growth, even during COVID-19.
How does your work at WWF support your mission?
Communications brings our conservation work to life and connects with people emotionally to hopefully show the impact of their support. In February of this year, WWF launched a new national branding campaign themed “Love It or Lose It” calling on everyone to show their love for nature, upon with all of humanity depends, and what is at risk if we don’t love enough. We wanted our message to focus on the strength and resilience found in love, the most precious resource we each possess, and how without it, we cannot thrive. Love It or Lose It showcases what we love in nature and everything it provides for us: bountiful oceans, intact forests, clean freshwater, abundant wildlife, plentiful food sources, and a stable climate.
Bonus: What’s your favorite purpose-driven project or mission-driven campaign right now, and why?
The environmental movement is becoming more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, which is a critical shift for the movement as a whole. At WWF we are deeply proud of the diverse body of staff and supporters who make up our family, and we are dedicated to fostering a sense of community and belonging for all. For example, at WWF in the United States we created, among other groups, the ‘We’re Here’ employee resource group, which was established over the past year to do just that for our LGBTQ+ colleagues and supporters and I was asked by the employees within it to be the Executive sponsor. In time for Pride Month in June, we reflected on the challenges facing the LGBTQ+ community in the US and globally, to celebrate the remarkable progress made, but also to commit ourselves to the work that remains. To help celebrate the month, We’re Here created a nature-based interpretation of the modern Progress Pride flag. It reminds us that nature is colorful and teeming with diversity – and that embracing and celebrating diversity is both beautiful and powerful.