Fishing News Awards

The client 
The Fishing News Awards is the only awards ceremony dedicated to celebrating the hard work and dedication of British and Irish commercial fishermen. Many fishermen have endured years of hardship through tough EU rulings and unwarranted criticism from NGOs, but fishing remains a vital industry for the UK and Ireland. As of 2017, there are 9,500 full-time fishermen in the UK and 2,500 in the Republic of Ireland. 
The objective 
The Fishing News Awards was reinstated in 2016 by the new owners of Fishing News, Kelsey Media. We were tasked with promoting the awards programme in its first year and then growing this interest in 2017, 2018, and now for the 2019 event.

In particular, our 2017 and 2018 objectives were focused on encouraging interest from the wider fishing community, largely through an increase in the number of nominees and votes, though also from social media engagement. We also aimed to secure greater media interest in this year’s event following a strong showing in 2016.

Overall, the aim was to celebrate the vital work of British and Irish fishermen and raise the profile of the industry.
 What we did
Fishermen are often extremely modest about their achievements, so the awards had to be designed in a way to avoid triggering this response. In this way, we were set a unique challenge: how to celebrate the achievements of an industry that largely avoids the spotlight.

We actively targeted coastal areas, particularly those with a large number of people employed in the fishing industry, with a launch campaign designed to generate immediate interest and lead to nominations and, later, votes. To do this, we embarked on an intensive media relations campaign, creating and issuing localised press releases and liaising with journalists.

To support the programme each year, we delivered a concentrated social media campaign targeted at fishermen and their families to encourage nominations. We then proceeded to initiate social media pre-promotion of the event, prioritising engagement with shortlisted companies/individuals using #FishingNewsAwards to spread the word.

Being no strangers to the maritime industry, we also generated tailored content for publication within Fishing News to highlight the reputational benefits of the awards to the industry, and the potential for external recognition, to help bolster entries.
The result 
Our work over the past three years has helped to generate significant growth in coverage of the Awards.
In 2017, over our nine-month campaign we secured over 160 pieces of coverage across local, trade, and broadcast media, helping to more than double 2016’s results.
In 2018, our joint communications efforts resulted in more than five million opportunities to see or hear positive news about the Fishing News Awards, with the average number of new followers also doubling on the Fishing News Twitter account.

Needless to say, both numbers of nominations and votes have continued to increase each year as awareness has grown.
The awards evening itself has been very well received, with many attendees praising the ceremony for shining a spotlight on their industry.
Most importantly, we can help give fishermen the recognition that they deserve for all their hard work over the years in a tough industry.
Acceleris reeled in Gold for its involvement in the Fishing News Awards in the Best Event category of the CIPR PRide Awards for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire in 2017