The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations

The value of media relations 

The Kirkella is the first whitefish freezer-trawler to be launched into the British fleet this century. A cutting edge pelagic vessel, the Kirkella employs state of the art technology to fish for whitefish (primarily cod) in the North East Atlantic Ocean.

Earlier this year, Acceleris worked in partnership with both UK Fisheries, the operators of the Kirkella, and the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), the representative body for fishermen in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to devise a plan to showcase the vital work of both organisations to the wider public.

As the voice of the fishing industry, the NFFO regularly holds meetings of its executive committee to canvass members’ views on policy and issues. One such meeting was scheduled to be held on the Kirkella in March while it was moored in Grimsby. This provided a strong news hook to showcase the vessel and promote the NFFO’s work on behalf of fishermen.

In order to do this, Acceleris devised and implemented an integrated strategy to secure both the attendance of key targets and subsequent good publicity for the vessel and the NFFO.

The event was a resounding success with key journalists from a range of outlets attending, including the Environment Editor of The Times – a real coup considering the not-so glamourous trip to Grimsby! In addition, reporters and camera crew from both BBC Look North and ITV Calendar, a reporter from BBC Radio Humberside and the Business Reporter from the Grimsby Telegraph attended the day.

Barry Dees NFFO

After a comprehensive tour of the vessel, Acceleris arranged a series of interviews with key figures at the NFFO, including the Chief Executive and the Chairman-elect, and a number of working fishermen.

The event generated five separate broadcast segments on TV and Radio, and led to a total of more than four million opportunities to see positive news about the NFFO, UK Fisheries and the vessel itself.

In addition to handling media relations and support around this event, Acceleris further contributed to the company’s ongoing positive messaging through the production of a short film. The film highlighted the sustainable practices utilised by the crew and the contribution the vessel makes to the UK, economically and in terms of food security and employment.

Mike Cohen NFFO

The video, filmed on the Kirkella over two days in port, featured a tour of the vessel, highlighting its key capabilities, and interviews with senior crew members and on shore staff. It was premiered as part of the event, before being released on YouTube.

Beyond immediate coverage, the event also provided the perfect opportunity to further develop strong links with key media targets, which led to a series of direct media enquiries over the subsequent months.