How do you make a sector more sustainable in the face of international competition, changing consumption patterns and consumer attitudes, climate change, a fragmented value chain and a complex regulatory environment? These were some of the complex issues uncovered by the Australian Meat Processors Corporation which led to them approaching us to produce a sustainability report to help the organisation introduce the notion of sustainability into the red meat processing sector.
In recent times we’ve been concerned that sustainability reports are ending up as stranded assets on company websites and the investment return on them is not commensurate with the time, effort and money expended. So we persuaded the AMPC to approach this as a communications project rather than one that simply involved producing a sustainability report.
The concept we developed was a ‘Feast of Ideas’ which initially involved a lunch and mini-conference in Wagga Wagga, home to Teys, one of the country’s largest meat processors. Scientists, processors, farmers, retailers, food activists and government representatives gathered to analyse the challenges facing the processing sector. We filmed the event and uncovered fascinating insights from interviews. Did you know, for example, that scientists are working on a locally grown seaweed that may solve the agricultural industry’s greenhouse gas emission problem? We then used the material to build a microsite and to write, structure and design a sustainability report: http://feastofideas.com/.
We have worked on many reports for major Australian companies, but this was the first to be written up by journalists, and to have its infographics tweeted by, among others, Matthew Evans, whose documentary For the Love of Meat recently aired on SBS. An infographic was also used by the AMPC to engage interest at an industry training and education conference and the material in the report will be used at a major conference the AMPC is hosting in Sydney.
Within two months of the release of the report and microsite, AMPC had 37,900 Tweet impressions and 9,863 impressions on LinkedIn. On Facebook the Feast of Ideas videos reached over 42,900 people. Posts containing AMPC-related hashtags have been seen an estimated 273,693 times across all social media platforms. To date, over 60 media stories, with an equivalent advertising value of over $630,000, were published as a direct result of the conference.
Overall, the lesson from the project confirmed what we have been talking to clients about for some time. Namely, if you want to communicate strategy, think creatively.