iFish - creating a unified voice for Europêche

Introduction

With the European fishing industry under frequent attack from activist groups, the sector’s important social, economic, health and employment contribution were being undervalued, underappreciated and misunderstood.

Brussels-based Europêche, the trade body representing 80,000 European fishermen across nine countries and an industry worth €7bn annually, appointed Acceleris to counter common myths and misconceptions and highlight the sector’s sustainability focus to a mainstream audience.

What we did

Acceleris devised a campaign to educate key stakeholders (EU ministers, scientists, policy makers and large scale retailers) and the wider public about the state of the industry through accurate, easily-accessible information. This involved:

- Commissioning the first pan-European survey of attitudes to fishing and fishermen to inform our campaign, provide insight and create country-specific media news angles

- Building and generating content (including imagery, text and video) for a consumer-facing portal, called iFish, and an innovative infographic to fuel online engagement created in three languages

- Launching at Seafood Expo Global, the world’s largest seafood event with 25,000 delegates from 150 countries including the European Fisheries Commissioner, Karmenu Vella

- Raising the profile of key Europêche personnel to establish the body as a credible voice.

Results

Our campaign strengthened Europêche's relationships with its key stakeholders and challenged misconceptions about the industry. The body was further positioned as the voice of Europe's fishermen and is now regularly approached for comment on industry issues.

Key indicators of the campaign’s success include:

- Achieving 200+ pieces of pan-European coverage with a combined audience of 140m

- Ensuring 100% of coverage included at least one of four agreed key messages

- Demonstrating value by reaching 2,378 Europeans for every euro spent.

“Acceleris devised and delivered a sophisticated and complex PR strategy spanning nine different European countries. The scope of the project was phenomenal, incorporating research, website development, media relations, events and crisis management. The team really challenged us to look beyond our traditional channels and spread our messages to a much wider, more mainstream audience which was a key priority for us.” Kathryn Stack, managing director at Europêche

In December 2015, Acceleris picked up the ‘Issues and Reputation Management’ trophy at the prestigious European Communications Excellence Awards in Stockholm for this campaign. We beat stiff competition from other short-listed finalists, including global corporations BP, Unilever and BASF. It is the second time the agency has won the award in three years.

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