UTS Library

Aussie Seafood Brought to you by our fisherman

Client: 

Sydney Fish Market

PR Company: 

Sydney Fish Market

Award Category: 

Award Type: 

Call Number: 

2009 C9 - 06

Year: 

2009

Executive Summary: 

The campaign was developed to raise the profile and appreciation of Australia’s commercial fishermen and their catch.

Key messages :

  • Linking fishermen with Australian caught seafood;
  • Emphasising the heritage of the Australian fishing industry;
  • Creating awareness of the industry’s sustainability practices;
  • Applauding the contributions fishers make to local communities and the economy in areas of employment, culture and cuisine.

Objectives :

  1. Educate consumers on the benefits of eating seafood and increase awareness of the desirability and sustainability of Australian seafood.
  2. Increase the price consumers are prepared to pay for Australian seafood.
  3. Increase demand for undervalued species, taking advantage of unfulfilled quota and creating new opportunities for the entire seafood supply chain.

The first ever campaign of its kind, it created a forum for issues confronting the industry to be raised through an integrated suite of advertising, paid editorial, media coverage, marketing collateral and events.

Results attained from online surveys, feedback, media monitoring, and event attendance demonstrated the campaign achieved all key outcomes, creating benefits for the Industry.

An initiative of Sydney Fish Market (SFM), it was supported by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and Seafood Experience Australia (SEA).

Situation Analysis: 

While Australians love their seafood, there is a strong disconnection between the fish on their plate, the people who sourced it and the issues they faced in getting it to the table.

Additionally, seafood demand in Australia will increasingly be satisfied by imports as production is constrained by many factors. It is therefore vital that the value of this reduced volume is maximised to protect not only the industry’s future, but also the jobs of those who work within it.

It was important that the partners worked together to promote seafood and the efforts of commercial fishermen to ensure that the fishing industry stays viable. The campaign acted as a forum for issues confronting the Australian seafood industry, while giving the campaign partners an opportunity to show that they were aware of these issues and committed to ensuring the industry’s future.

PR was imperative when tackling this highly sensitive and comprehensive issue. It authenticated the campaign messages by providing a media platform from which the issues and messages could be promoted and enhanced. PR assisted in ensuring that the objectives would be achieved, and that the messages reached the desired target publics in effective and efficient ways. PR provided invaluable support to the marketing elements, and acted as the backbone of the campaign.

Research: 

An initial step in the strategic planning process was research, which helped to identify current issues surrounding the Australian seafood industry. This information aided in defining the objectives and key messages of the campaign.

Firstly, a review of media messages around the Australian seafood industry was undertaken, which highlighted a lack of coverage from the fishermen’s perspective, as well as splintered coverage of key industry issues. It was apparent the majority of media about the Australian seafood industry was fuelled by NGOs such as World Wildlife Fund and the Nature Conservation Council, with little response by industry or government.

A case study of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park rezoning in 2004 was also reviewed to help plan the campaign. This was deemed particularly relevant because of its similarity to the Federal Government’s fishing licence buyback scheme, and provided clear insights into the ramifications of the implementation of such schemes, including the effects on the region’s commercial fishermen, fishing communities and local economies in areas of employment, culture and cuisine.

To gain ground level insight, key industry representatives, including government, were interviewed on their attitudes towards the industry’s future. Most voiced the need for an initiative that lifted the morale of fishermen in tough times and provided them with a unified voice on key issues. It was also believed that educating seafood consumers about local seafood and industry practices would drive sales for local product, benefitting fishers, their communities and the industry greatly.

Target Policies: 

SEAFOOD CONSUMERS

Research indicated there was a need for seafood consumers (consumers) to be educated on what fishers do, why consuming undervalued species is important and the many reasons why Australian seafood is a great choice. The target area was NSW, however, the campaign did reach other states through its extensive media coverage. The campaign was designed to empower consumers, equipping them with the tools to influence government decision making on issues that impact commercial fishing, such as access to the resource for the fishers and food security for themselves. Such education would demonstrate to consumers the importance of fisheries in Australia and the possible detrimental impacts these issues may have on their eating habits, lifestyle choices and on their communities.

NSW COMMERCIAL FISHERS

Fishers were engaged as a tool to sell the four key messages. The campaign also hoped to boost their morale, which would inturn stimulate them to train the next generation of fishers. The campaign partners had a vested interest in targeting the fishers, to demonstrate their concern for the fishers’ welfare and the industry’s future.

AUSTRALIAN SEAFOOD INDUSTRY

The campaign also targeted the broader Australian seafood industry as an exercise in raising their profile at a national level to industry.

GOVERNMENT

All levels of government were targeted with the hope that the messages would show the historic, social, cultural and economic importance of commercial fishing to the Australian communities, to assist industry in negotiation over access and management of the resource.

NON GOVERNMENT ORGANISATIONS (NGOs)

Research showed that negative opinions of commercial fishing were being championed by NGOs with little opposition. The campaign was used to educate NGOs on what work industry was doing for the environment and sustaining its resource, in order to provide a potential platform for working together in the future.

Communication Strategy: 

The campaign used an integrated suite of advertising, paid editorial, marketing collateral, media coverage, and events in order to achieve the objectives.

The strategy utilised both controlled tactics (through advertising in SMH Good Living, regional newspapers, and promotional collateral) and uncontrolled tactics (including special reports in SMH Good Living, media releases, events and spokespeople/fishers). This combination allowed key messages to be circulated to the target publics via a wide spread of mediums, resulting in greater exposure.

The campaign was then piggybacked onto SFM’s Get Fresh with Fish (GFWF) events. These free statewide seafood cooking demonstrations encouraged consumers to explore the fabulous taste and superb quality of locally caught seafood. Local fishers were partnered with a chef, entertaining the audience with insider tips about local seafood, while reinforcing the connection between seafood and the people who provide it.

The campaign was further communicated through a website (www.aussieseafood.com.au) which includes recipes, species information and video interviews with fishermen, which will also be shown at future public and industry events.

Implementation: 

  • Campaign brand.
  • Putting a face to the fishermen with emotive photography of real fishermen – Fishers were chosen from across NSW, emphasising provenance and creating opportunities for local events that linked fishers with local products. Each fisher became a spokesperson and championed a different issue. (see page 17)
  • Campaign collateral including website, posters, brochures, magnets, banners, and merchandise. (see pages 18-22)
  • Advertising/Special Reports – Advertising was run concurrently with special features on commercial fishermen for eight consecutive weeks in SMH’s Good Living supplement, with a ‘foodies’ readership that is more likely to purchase seafood on a regular basis, and therefore create an immediate benefit in sales. Advertising was also published in regional NSW to coincide with local events. A radio campaign on Radio 2GB (metropolitan Sydney) further broadened the target audience. (see pages 23-26)
  • Media and Industry Launch – Showcasing the campaign and teaming our featured fishermen with celebrity chefs for a cook-off of locally caught seafood. (see campaign overview video on enclosed DVD)
  • State-wide media relations – Generating positive news stories, identifying and managing issues and crises, media monitoring.
  • Video – Interviews with fishers, shown on the website and at future events. This footage is also currently being pitched to networks. (examples on enclosed DVD)
  • Get Fresh with Fish – 23 free events across NSW including the Sydney Royal Easter Show, educating consumers on the preparation, storage and cooking of undervalued seafood species, and the quality of Australian seafood. (see page 16 and campaign overview video on enclosed DVD)
  • Seafood Excellence Awards – gala awards night recognising outstanding industry achievements. With celebrity hosts Vince Colosimo and Rodger Corser, a 5-star menu created by SMH 2008 Chef of the Year Sean Connolly and live entertainment headlined by Deni Hines. (see awards overview video on enclosed DVD)

Results: 

The campaign achieved excellent results which can be measured through feedback from industry, consumers, surveys and event attendance.

EVALUATION

Electronic questionnaires were used as they are a cost effective and timely technique to gather data and provide insight into effectiveness. The sample was non-probability, which provided useful exploratory information, helping to gauge an insight into the attitudes and future behaviours of consumers and the industry, as well as providing valuable information on what marketing tactics were most effective.

Industry survey

Full results in Appendix A (page 31)

Electronic questionnaire
Results attained in 3 days
Target: 900
Sample: 126

Key findings :

  • 44% of the sample had heard or seen information about the campaign.
  • 94% of respondents were provided with valuable insight into at least one of the key messages.
  • 72.8% believed the campaign was ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ in communicating that ‘commercial fishers are important to the Australian economy’.
  • 63.6% believed the campaign was ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ in communicating that ‘commercial fishers act in an environmentally responsible way’.
  • 65.9% believed the campaign was ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ in communicating that ‘commercial fishers work hard’.
  • 75% believed the campaign was ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ in communicating that ‘commercial fishers produce quality seafood’.

Consumer Survey :

Full results in Appendix A (page 28)

Electronic questionnaire
Results attained in 2 days
Target: 19,000
Sample: 550

Key findings :

  • 31% of the sample had heard or seen information about the campaign.
  • The most effective communication tool used was newspapers and magazines (34%).
  • 78.1% of respondents believed the campaign was ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ in communicating that ‘commercial fishers are important to the Australian economy’.
  • 71.6% believed the campaign was ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ in communicating that ‘commercial fishers act in an environmentally responsible way’.
  • 81.8% believed the campaign was ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ in communicating that ‘commercial fishers work hard’.
  • 91.3% believed the campaign was ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ in communicating that ‘commercial fishers produce quality seafood’.
  • 60% were ‘extremely likely’ to eat more seafood.
  • 53% were ‘extremely likely’ to eat a greater variety of Australian seafood species.
  • 83.2% were ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to pay more for Australian seafood.

INDUSTRY & CONSUMER FEEDBACK

Sample feedback in Appendix A (page 16)

Overwhelmingly positive feedback from stakeholders and consumers was received throughout the campaign, providing useful information for future campaigns and marketing initiatives as well as helping to gauge the success of different tactics.

MEDIA MONITORING, CONTENT ANALYSIS AND PR

Daily media monitoring and analysis was undertaken, focusing on Australian seafood industry related messages and coverage. The number of media hits that directly mentioned or highlighted the key messages indicated the need for increased media exposure around the key issues, which was generated by the PR team.

It was vital that initial coverage of the campaign was strong and focused, hence the preliminary eight week ad run in Good Living, accompanied by special features. The effectiveness of this launch strategy can be seen in the survey results.

Marketing Collateral

Issue-specific brochures were distributed through seafood retailers and at events (4 kinds x 50K of each). Posters, merchandise, pull-up banners and large dropdown banners were displayed at SFM and events. 4,000 recipe books were distributed at GFWF, as well as species fact sheets.

Event Attendance

Launch/media event: 70 VIPs & Media
GFWF:
approximately 5,000 total attendees (including a local fisherman at all demonstrations)
Seafood Excellence Awards: 472 attendees

Evaluation: 

Objective 1:

To educate consumers on the benefits of seafood consumption and increase consumer awareness of the desirability and sustainability of Australian seafood.

Seafood consumers were educated on the benefits of Australian seafood consumption through advertising, paid editorial, media coverage, marketing collateral and events. Using different mediums assisted in reaching a greater number of consumers. With 200,000 brochures distributed, attendance of 5,000 at GFWF events, broad media coverage, and positive feedback it would be acceptable to say that this objective was achieved.

Objective 2:

To increase the price consumers are prepared to pay for Australian seafood product.

Seafood consumers were educated on what commercial fishers do; the heritage and future of the Australian seafood industry; the industry’s environmentally responsible practices and work with government and environment groups to ensure the future supply of fresh local seafood; and the contributions fishermen make to local communities and the economy in areas of employment, culture and cuisine. This education was achieved through GFWF events, heroing the industry at the Seafood Excellence Awards, advertising, story placement and through campaign collateral.

There are no clear ways of seeing if consumers are paying more for product after being exposed to the campaign. However, a consumer survey showed that 60% were ‘extremely likely’ to eat more seafood, and 83.2% were ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to pay more for Australian seafood.

Objective 3:

To increase demand for undervalued species, taking advantage of unfulfilled quota and creating new opportunities for the entire seafood supply chain.

This can be assessed through the high attendance of GFWF events, the uptake of recipe books and species sheets provided to these attendees, and the increased demand for the species in retail on the event days. It is, however, too early to show if consumers are buying more undervalued species after being exposed to this campaign. However, past results have shown that through intensive promotion of a species over time, demand has increased.

Overall Evaluation

The campaign has proved to be a huge success with pleasing results for partners and the Australian seafood industry. The campaign effectively sent key messages to the target publics, and in turn achieved the goals and objectives.

By heading up the campaign, Sydney Fish Market (SFM) strengthened its position as the leader of the Australian Seafood Industry.

For the State and Federal Governments (DPI & DAFF), the program showed the commercial fishing industry that government is aware of the issues the industry faces, and are committed to ensuring its future. For Seafood Experience Australia (SEA) the campaign helped them reach Australian seafood consumers through media and cooking demonstrations, as well as raise its industry profile and push for increased industry memberships.

Surveys also indicate that the campaign has spread through word of mouth, which infers success. The Marketing & Communications Manager at SFM will be speaking at the Prawn and Barramundi Conference in July, where she has been asked to present the campaign’s results and demonstrate how it could be tailored to the Australian aquaculture industry. This illustrates how the seafood industry has embraced and seen value in the campaign.