UTS Library

AECL Consumer Program

Client: 

Australian Egg Corporation

PR Company: 

Porter Novelli

Award Category: 

Award Type: 

Call Number: 

2008 C9 - 16

Year: 

2008

Executive Summary: 

In June 2006, Porter Novelli was commissioned by the Australian Egg Corporation Limited (AECL) to develop a long-term public relations strategy to promote Australian eggs and fulfil the ‘Market Awareness’ and ‘Market Education’ components of AECL’s five year business plan.

The brief included the implementation of an initial 12-month campaign that would act as a strong launch pad to build on moving forward.

With many Australian consumers unsure about the nutritional credentials of eggs, as well as having very limited repertoires when it came to cooking with eggs, the task was to build awareness of eggs as an everyday ‘hero’ meal solution as well as educate the Australian public about eggs’ nutrition profile.

Contributing to an ultimate organisational goal of increasing egg consumption, the core communications goal was to drive awareness and education among identified consumer groups and food and nutrition key opinion leaders (KOLs).

As at end July 2007, the PR campaign had been highly successful in reaching its target audiences. All campaign KPIs were met or exceeded and research conducted by AECL showed an improvement in attitudes towards eggs – in 2007, Australians ate an average of 168 eggs per person, up from the previous known average of 138.

Situation Analysis: 

Existing AECL research* showed many Australians viewed eggs as a commodity item that was often overlooked as an everyday meal solution, and that consumers did not know how to use eggs (outside of the usual scrambled, boiled or as an ingredient in baking).

In addition, some consumer segments still had lingering concerns regarding the health impacts of eggs, particularly around increasing cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease, despite eggs being awarded the National Heart Foundation Tick the previous year.

In order to achieve the organisational goal of increasing per capita egg consumption, it was important to eliminate these barriers and show consumers more ways to use eggs, as well as give permission for them to enjoy eggs more often.

Public relations was an important tool required to carry out this task because the third-party endorsement from food and nutrition KOLs including media, health care professionals and the food service community would be invaluable in educating, inspiring and changing the opinions – and purchase habits – of Australian consumers.

* See research section for more detail

Research: 

Several pieces of formal and informal research conducted by AECL and Porter Novelli were used to gain a clear understanding of the market situation, as well as to identify key target groups, existing consumer barriers and appropriate media channels.

A consumer usage and attitude report* commissioned by AECL in early 2006 was used to identify the main target consumer groups along with their egg consumption habits, attitudes to food and main barriers to egg consumption.

This research – which identified that countless Australians did not know many ways to cook with eggs and viewed them as a commodity item that was often forgotten about – was used to form the basis of the PR strategy.

The research was studied in conjunction with media research (covering viewer and reader profiles across magazines, television, radio, online and newspapers) compiled by Essence Media from a variety of sources including Morgan ESP.

(See section five for more detailed information about the research findings and consequent communication task and channels identified for each group.)

A perception audit was also conducted by Porter Novelli with more than 20 top-tier media and food KOLs to gain a full understanding of their knowledge regarding the Australian egg industry, as well as their attitudes towards egg nutrition and usage.

The results of this perception audit were extremely consistent across the board and therefore contributed to the development of a seasonal media relations calendar, informed the development of campaign media materials and lead to the development of a quarterly newsletter to maintain consistent communication with this important group.

An informal review of previous AECL media coverage generated also informed the development of the media relations strategy by highlighting the need to provide stronger and more creative media content in order to increase and maintain consistent coverage levels.

* David McKinna et al, Australian Egg Corporation Ltd, Consumer Usage & Attitude Report, 2006

Target Policies: 

From the research, the market was segmented into three target consumer audiences as outlined below.

These groups were identified as priority targets due to their existing consumption barriers and the growth opportunity presented – just one additional egg consumed each week by these audiences would make a huge contribution towards the overall industry consumption target.

In order to generate credibility by creating advocacy among trusted food and nutrition experts, the KOLs and media channels appropriate to each of these consumer segments were also identified and targeted.

Segment
name

% of market
Segment profile
Barrier
Comms task
Example appropriate channels/ KOLs identified
Passive
Egg Lovers
39% Above average consumers, likely families with kids, BC skew. Not influenced by nutrition concerns. Loves eggs for value and taste. Views eggs as a commodity item – repertoire limited to boiled, scrambled or baking ingredient. Scope for these consumers to eat more eggs but they need reminding about interesting ways to cook with them. MEDIA
- National lifestyle magazines
- Metro, suburban and regional newspapers
FOOD
- Celebrity chefs
HCP
- Nutritionists
Egg Wary 29% Below average consumers, skew towards 40-65yrs and AB Tentative about how many eggs they should be eating. Scope for these consumers to eat more eggs but they need reassuring of nutritional benefits – as well as ideas on how to use. MEDIA
- Metro, suburban and regional newspapers
- National lifestyle magazines
FOOD
- Local restaurants, celebrity chefs
HCP
- Nutritionists, GPs
Egg
Restrictors
31% Medium to light consumers, tend to be older with cholesterol problems. Strictly monitor consumption due to perceived cholesterol issues. To encourage this group not to restrict their egg intake, they need to be reassured of
Nutritional benefits.
MEDIA
- Suburban and regional newspapers
- Health publications
- Seniors publications
- Talkback radio
HCP
- GPs

Communication Strategy: 

To meet the program objectives and address the different attitudes of the core consumer segments, a three-staged PR strategy was developed:

  1. A ‘big bang’ launch platform to the kickstart campaign by capturing consumer interest and create a reason to start talking about eggs
  2. An ongoing creative media relations program to generate consistent media coverage across target media and drive ongoing awareness of egg usage and nutrition
  3. An education program to encourage KOLs to become egg advocates

AECL Mission Statement

“To create an industry operating environment that assists to…maximise benefits and revenue for the industry and the community…”

COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY
Build awareness of eggs as everyday ‘hero’ meal solution and educate the Australian public about eggs’ nutrition profile
↓                                                                                           ↓

Pillar 1 MARKET AWARENESS

Pillar 2 MARKET EDUCATION

AWARENESS & INSPIRATION

EDUCATION

CONSUMERS

←INFLUENCE

KOLs

CONSUMERS

←INFLUENCE

KOLs

‘Passive Egg Lovers’

←MIGRATE

‘Egg Wary’ Segment

←MIGRATE

‘Egg Restrictors’ segment

Implementation: 

The campaign was rolled out over a 12 month period and encompassed the below elements – 100% delivered to deadline and within budget.

1. Launch: Howard Helmer media tour

The visit of Howard Helmer (the Guinness Book of World Records’ World’s Fastest Omelette Maker) provided an excellent launch platform. A mass-awareness campaign was developed and implemented by Porter Novelli, incorporating:

  1. A ‘Breakfast on the Boardwalk’ charity stunt held in a high-traffic area of Sydney to generate news and remind and inspire consumers about the versatility of eggs.
  2. Creative cooking master-classes at major publishing houses Australian Consolidated Press (ACP), Federal Publishing Company (FPC) and Pacific Publications to educate mass media about egg nutrition and provide inspiration via Howard’s creative omelette recipe ideas.
  3. A three-day press tour incorporating interviews with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane radio and print media, designed to reach a maximum number of consumers in the short timeframe available.

(See appendix page 18-19)

2. Ongoing media relations campaign

To continue momentum over the following 12 months, a media calendar was developed to reflect seasonal trends, news and events and ensure a high level of awareness was maintained via consistent coverage of egg usage and nutrition messages.

The breadth of angles developed – from World Egg Day to post -workout meal ideas and the role of egg nutrients in pregnancy – enabled a broad range of target media outlets to be engaged throughout the year, maximising consumer reach.

The media calendar was supported via the development of creative materials including but not limited to:

  •  Healthy egg-inspired recipes

Developed by Porter Novelli for the campaign and rolled out monthly along with simple usages ideas, egg preparation tips and nutrition advice. The recipes were developed to adhere to specific nutrition guidelines compiled by AECL in conjunction with Food & Nutrition Australia and the National Heart Foundation.

  • Egg Fact Sheets

including Hints & Tips, Facts & Figures, Production Systems Explained, plus nutrition and industry backgrounder documents. This range of materials was developed by Porter Novelli to allow for timely responses to media enquiries and feature opportunities.

  • Kids’ egg cartoon characters

named Benedict, Lorraine, Flip, Florentine and Googy. Porter Novelli worked with design firm ArtSwift to develop a range of children’s egg characters designed to educate and excite children about eggs, as well as to provide interesting and tailored content for children’s and parenting media. A usage strategy was also developed by Porter Novelli to determine how the characters could be integrated into AECL marketing campaigns in future years.

(See appendix page 20-21)

3. KOL engagement

  • Understanding the audience:

At the beginning of the campaign, a perception audit was conducted with key food opinion leaders to track their understanding of the egg industry and attitudes towards egg usage and nutrition.

  • Regular communication:

These insights led to the revamp of AECL’s quarterly newsletter, On The Boil. Porter Novelli recommended and managed a redesign of the newsletter to create a more engaging format and annual contents plan including egg industry news, inspirational commentary and recipes from Australia’s leading chefs, plus regular competitions to engage and encourage dialogue with KOLs.

  • Inspirational roadshow:

A high-end gourmet roadshow was developed and implemented by Porter Novelli at three stages throughout the year to reach KOLs and inspire them to become egg advocates. To echo the atmosphere of the highend venues and gourmet appeal of the roadshow, Porter Novelli developed a ‘Be Inspired’ event theme incorporating invitations, place settings and theming.

Following an extensive communications focus on KOLs in Melbourne and Tasmania in previous years, the fine dining events were held in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. Designed to take eggs out of the everyday by creating a ‘surprising’ fine dining experience, the events also educated KOLs on egg nutrition, production and usage with experts on each topic speaking at stages throughout the luncheon.

Porter Novelli worked closely with each host chef to ensure the five-course menus developed were gourmet, inspirational and showcased several different methods of cooking with eggs to demonstrate their versatility.

(See appendix page 22-24)

Results: 

1. Launch: Howard Helmer media tour

  • ‘Breakfast on the Boardwalk’ raised $2,000 for Sydney Children’s Hospital. Celebrity chef Neil Perry was negotiated free of charge to host the event and television coverage was secured with Ch9 Today, with six live crosses with weather presenter Steve Jacobs throughout the morning.
  • Creative omelette cooking master-classes at ACP, FPC and Pacific Publications attracted 45 media representatives from 23 publications. Porter Novelli achieved a 100% acceptance rate from all publications invited to take part in the briefings.
  • The three-day press tour resulted in 2x ten minute TV segments secured on Fresh Cooking and Mornings with Kerri-Anne plus 16 radio and 6 print pieces.

(See appendix page 18-19)

2. Ongoing media relations campaign

  • 250 pieces of coverage generated
  • Media circulation reach of 30,118,762
  • 100% coverage included at least one usage or nutrition key message
  • 78% of coverage included imagery
  • 100% of media releases distributed resulted in coverage

(See appendix page 20-21)

3. KOL engagement

  • The audit results indicated a strong level of understanding among food opinion leaders of ‘nutrition’ key messages and a good understanding of ‘versatility’ key messages.
  • Newsletter content was secured from top-tier ‘foodies’ including Matt Moran, Neil Perry, Peter Doyle, Peter Gilmore and Alain Fabregues and by the end of FY07, the distribution list had doubled.
  • An average of 49 attendees was secured for each event including 22 media, 13 executive chefs and 15 food industry influencers. Top restaurants Lamont’s East Perth, Quay Sydney and E’cco Brisbane were secured to host the luncheons, with executive chefs agreeing to design exclusive menus for the occasion.

(See appendix page 22-24)

Evaluation: 

Specific, measurable KPIs were agreed with AECL for each tactical activity within the program, covering qualitative and quantitative measures.

All campaign KPIs were met or exceeded and Porter Novelli has continued a successful partnership with AECL, with increased budget and a deeper involvement and contribution to corporate and business objectives.

Objective #1: Generate an increased level of consistent, positive media coverage in identified target media and incorporating nutrition and usage key messages

MEASURE

AGREED KPI RESULT ACHIEVED
No. pieces coverage 240 pieces of positive media coverage

279 pieces of positive coverage achieved

= KPI exceeded by 116%

Circulation Reach of 24,0000,00

Reach of 30,118,762 achieved

= KPI exceeded by 125%

Imagery At least 60% of coverage to include imagery

78% included imagery

= KPI exceeded by 130%

Identified target media All coverage to appear in agreed target media

100% coverage appeared in agreed target media

= KPI met

Objective #2: Build a database of at least 1,000 KOLs across Australia

MEASURE

AGREED KPI RESULT ACHIEVED
Develop database of KOLs including media, nutritionists and chefs Build database of 1,000 contacts

Database developed with 1,283 contacts

= KPI exceeded by 128%

Objective #3: Develop an ongoing communication tool to maintain consistent contact with KOLs

MEASURE

AGREED KPI RESULT ACHIEVED
On The Boil newsletter Development and delivery of four editions incorporating at least 4 pieces of content from high-profile chefs

Development and delivery of four editions including content from five top-tier foodies including Matt Moran, Neil Perry, Peter Doyle, Peter Gilmore and Alain Fabregues

= KPI exceeded by 125%

Objective #4: Demonstrate the nutrition and versatility credentials of eggs directly to at least 100 top-tier KOLs via a roadshow covering Sydney, Perth and Brisbane

MEASURE

AGREED KPI RESULT ACHIEVED
Attendee numbers Secure an average attendance of 10 chefs and 20 media at each event

Secured an average of 13 chefs and 24 media at each event.

= KPI exceeded by 120%

‘Gourmet appeal’ of each event Secure top-tier leading restaurant in each state and high-profile chef to develop exclusive menu for each event

Perth: Lamont’s East Perthwas secured with wellrespected
WA foodie and cookbook author Kate Lamont leading the menu design.

Sydney: Three-hat restaurant Quay was secured with the high-profile Peter Gilmore designing the menu.

Brisbane: Well-known e’cco Bistro, which holds two hats, was secured with celebrity chef Phillip Johnson developing the menu.

Objective #5: Deliver a value-for-money campaign that allows AECL to demonstrate a clear return on its investment to Australian farmers

MEASURE

AGREED KPI RESULT ACHIEVED
Cost per thousand (CPM) consumers reached Maximum CPM = $10.87

CPM = $8.66

= KPI exceeded by 115%