public relations strategy + media exposure

Coral Spawn 2019​

In November 2019, I set up a communications hub at Sunlover’s Moore Reef pontoon for two nights where a team of six marine biologists and filmmakers were based to photograph, film, and report on the annual coral spawning event.


Prior, a media alert was sent with a Dropbox link that could be accessed each night at 2 am. The folder would be uploaded with raw video, high-resolution photos, and a report on that night’s activity for use in news reports.  Social media posts and Facebook Live video spontaneously captured the team’s excitement and immediate observations. Most of the team also had their own substantial public profiles, so further reach was achieved through their owned channels and media communications.

Our soft coral spawning coverage on Night One made headlines globally because it was the best in five years and shone a much-needed positive spotlight on the Great Barrier Reef.


The content was picked up by major global news agencies JIJI Japan, AAP Australia, and AFP Europe as well as digital and print media in China, Japan, India, Germany, France, and the US including The Washington Post, and the UK including The Guardian.  The resulting estimated advertising value equivalent (AVE) was many hundreds of thousands of dollars. View the five-page list of coverage here.


A Queensland State tourism campaign leveraged the coverage in Europe and coincided with a ‘Queensland on Tour’ trade mission in Europe. The delegation included Sunlover’s Group Sales Manager and one of the coral spawning team, Gareth Phillips from Reef Teach. He delivered independent presentations about the Great Barrier Reef and its health, lending credibility to the quality of Sunlover’s reef product and commitment to its preservation.

The team of experts included:

  • Stuart Ireland – Marine Biologist, photographer, filmmaker, and owner of Calypso Reef Imagery has been filming the coral spawn every year since 1996. Creator of Reef Today, which has been impartially reporting on the Great Barrier Reef since 2016.

  • Gareth Philips – Marine Biologist, Master Reef Guide and owner of Reef Teach, the leading Great Barrier Reef educator.

  • Pablo Cogollos – Marine Biologist and Master Reef Guide, photographer and filmmaker. See his work on his Instagram pablocogollos

  • Jennie Gilbert – Marine Biologist and co-founder of the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.

  • Gabriel Guzman – Photographer with Calypso Reef Imagery, influencer and Insta360 specialist. View Gab's still images in the gallery. See his work on Instagram underwater_images

  • Shannon Myers – Photographer, influencer and amazing underwater model. Check out her Instagram dive_down_under