Well, hello there!
Thanks for reading our first article. We can not wait to begin publishing all the posts we have in store for you about effective communication, marine science and all the ways in which you can grow your brand’s influence and help preserve the health of our oceans.
But first, some introductions are in order.
I’m Laura Secorun, Managing director of ONA and the person who will be doing most of the writing around here. I have been a journalist for over a decade, working in a dozen countries writing on everything from science to migration and climate change for outlets like Foreign Policy, The Guardian and The New York Times. I spent the last few years as a foreign correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya, which is where I began working with ONA’s co-founder, Nathan Siegel.
Nathan is an incredibly talented visual journalist, who began as a reporter in the Bay Area and then moved to East Africa to work as a photographer and videographer for outlets like Newsweek, CNN and BBC. We would often collaborate in projects and he also produced video for clients like UNHCR, Save the Children, Bosch, and Microsoft.
Besides our commitment to journalism, Nathan and I soon discovered we both loved the ocean. He was a Californian surfer and I grew up sailing around the Mediterranean, so we both worried about the worsening health of the seas and felt like we had to do something about it.
The idea for ONA came to us during a reporting trip in Tangier, Morocco. One afternoon, while sipping mint tea and watching the fishing boats return to port the question came up: “How come there is no media agency dedicated exclusively to the sea?”
Quickly followed by: “We should create it.” That same day, we had a business plan and a name: ONA. The word means “to see” in Swahili, the official language of Kenya, the place we lived. And it also means “wave” in my mother tongue, Catalan.
As journalists we were quite educated on all the threats facing the sea: climate change, pollution, habitat destruction, invasive species, etc. Problems that separately would be a great challenge, together pose an existential danger to the critical food, jobs and services that a healthy ocean provides.
But we also knew how difficult it is to mobilise the public to protect something they don’t understand, let alone care for. So we determined to put everything we had learned about fact-finding and effective storytelling in service of organizations and individuals who worked in the sea. The goal: to make audiences fall in love with the big blue.
Soon after, we decided to move to Barcelona, where we met a world-class solo sailor called Didac Costa, who would become our third partner. At the time, he was preparing to set off around the world on a single-handed sailing race called Vendee Globe. The project captivated us so we soon joined the team. Nathan became the video producer and I was in charge of partner relations and communications across all channels.
Eighteen months later, Didac had finished his incredible round-the-world race but we felt like we were just getting started. The race taught us the power that sport had to bring people closer to the sea and get them to genuinely care about the environment. So Didac joined us as Sporting Director and we decided to begin managing athletes and helping them grow and educate their audiences.
At this point, I would be remiss not to mention another crucial member of the ONA team, Amelia. She is the 32ft sailboat that serves as our floating headquarters and production studio. Since we are a global company, we thought it smart to have an office that could move around. She is also an environmentally friendly means of transportation and an ideal platform to shoot ocean content from.
Ok, that’s who you are. But what is it that we actually do? Glad you ask. In short we help brands and individuals and produce and deliver incredible media content about the sea. Most days, this looks like connecting ocean athletes with conscious brands, designing educational strategies for marine scientists and producing stunning documentary-style video about, you guessed it, the sea.
We also run this blog. Each Monday, we’ll be exploring subjects like the ocean’s health crisis, effective communication and the role of technology in trying to protect this crucial yet still unknown medium. We do not take your attention for granted, so we will make these posts as info-packed and actionable as possible.
And that’s not all! If you’d like to stay on top of the latest ocean news please subscribe to our wonderful weekly newsletter, “the Ocean Brief”. You will also find us on Instagram, Twitter, Linked-In and Facebook.
We aim to be as useful as possible if there’s any topic you’d like us to cover, let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for going on this journey with us.