Tag Archive for Brexit

Making a splash for our seafarers

Louise Watson-Dowell, Senior Account Manager at Acceleris

Managing reputation and driving recognition with the Fishing News Awards

 

In 2018 you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s all doom and gloom for our coastal towns as the UK’s fishing industry faces increasing scrutiny, while Brexit debates rage on and Nigel Farage busies himself throwing dead fish in the Thames in protest of our PM’s negotiations with the EU.

 

 

 

 

Source: Sky News

Our dedicated maritime division will not be brought down in the dumps, however. In fact, owing to the increased awareness of the plight of our seafarers as we approach the deadline for an agreement with the EU, it seems this year, more than any, was worth a good old celebration of the best and the brightest fishermen and women from across our British Isles.

We’re proud to have supported the Fishing News Awards with sponsorship and communications services for the last three years, working with Fishing News to highlight those truly worthy of commendation across the UK’s fishing ports, seaside cafes, and industry suppliers.

At a ceremony in Aberdeen, held at the end of May, finalists and guests from all corners of the British Isles were welcomed to the evening and it was a privilege to see inspirational individuals and businesses recognised for their hard work and dedication in this, one of the toughest years for the industry.

Fred MacAulay – comedian and host of the 2018 Fishing News Awards

Indeed, recognition for one’s achievements is important, but in a programme in which the winners are voted for by industry peers and colleagues, the Fishing News Awards proves reputation precedes it.

Reputations don’t just happen, unfortunately – we’re not born with them, and they don’t occur naturally at the inception of a business – they must be built steadily and nurtured. Of course, a big part of building reputation is doing good work, but then an awful lot of reputation comes down to people hearing about that good work.

That means word of mouth becomes extremely important in building and supporting reputation.

And word of mouth doesn’t just mean a friend or colleague mentioning a good product or service to you – although that’s certainly part of it – it’s about recommendations from other trusted sources, like magazines, Facebook, Google, local and industry news.

To hit those platforms, you’ll want to invest in communications strategies to drive the reach of this extended type of word of mouth. Increasingly, we’re seeing communications programmes recognised as a key component for businesses tasked with raising their profiles in an increasingly competitive landscape, including in the maritime industries.

Take a look at the numbers…*

  • 1,000 customers can generate around 500,000 conversations about a brand
  • 66% of brand mentions are positive in nature, meaning word of mouth can lead to positive brand reputation
  • 50% of word of mouth recommendations are the leading factor behind a purchasing decision
  • 72% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 84% of B2B decision makers start their process because of a referral

It’s not enough to rely on doing good work, you need to ensure there’s noise around that good work, and that it’s being heard by the right people.

When we support the Fishing News Awards, we see small and big businesses nominated as a result of their reputation. We extend the reach of that reputation, speaking to local and industry media and creating engaging content for social media platforms, talking about the nominees, their businesses and achievements. When they win, we continue to help spread the news far and wide.

Last year, our communications efforts saw us secure 149 pieces of coverage for nominees and winners across fishing industry and local press, including in print and online, and broadcast media.

  • These pieces resulted in more than 5 million opportunities to see or hear positive news about the Fishing News Awards and its nominees – equating to a return of 834 opportunities for every £1 spent
  • Nominations almost trebled on the previous year – from 180 to 492
  • Votes almost doubled – from 2,611 to 5,193
  • In the months where Acceleris was active on the Fishing News Twitter account, it doubled the average number of new followers
  • During this period, the account achieved 395,500 organic impressions

During the awards process, we recorded several spikes in Google search interest for ‘Fishing News Awards’, with the highlight a 118 per cent increase on the previous record for daily searches.

As the fishing industry continues to battle with regulation and change, it’s more important than ever to make sure your customers and potential customers know about the good work you do – it’s imperative that you build and maintain a great reputation.

If you need support boosting your brand or reigniting your reputation, get in touch by emailing info@acceleris-mc.com or give us a call on 0845 4567 251.

*https://www.business2community.com/marketing/word-mouth-marketing-incredibly-important-02017025 

Fishing for Leadership in 2017

Ben Rowe – Account Executive

Most people would agree 2016 played host to a seismic shift in world politics. With Article 50 on the verge of being triggered, people from all walks of life are wondering what the future holds for them in post-Brexit Britain. Not least, the fishing industry.

You may think the challenges facing commercial fishing are well established. For example, fishing holds the longstanding title of ‘most dangerous occupation in the world’ with the fatal accident rate over 100 times that of the general workforce in the UK.

Additionally, fishing is an industry we are heavily reliant on and has rich historical ties with our island nation. Around 80% of us consume seafood at least once a month and the UK fishing industry remains crucially important to many coastal towns.

Criticism, however, is never far away. Organisations such as Greenpeace have run regular sensationalist campaigns condemning the effects of fishing, including excess bycatch, discards, diminishing stocks, environmental damage and animal welfare.

 

Source: BBC

 

 

External pressures are only going to add to an already turbulent discussion. Brexit negotiations throw quotas and the jurisdiction of waters up in the air, making the future for fishermen particularly hazy.

In January, Prime Minister Theresa May came under attack from UK fishermen for ‘betraying’ them when outlining the government’s plans for the negotiations with the EU after the triggering of Article 50. In a Brexit speech at Westminster, May was deemed to have failed to address the future of UK fisheries and the relationship with the rest of Europe once ties are cut on Union membership. Fears about fishing being used as a ‘bargaining chip’ in negotiations only served to raise the stakes for a proud industry which MEP Mike Hookem believes could be a ‘shot in the arm’ for the country post-Brexit.

This new political environment and subsequent change does, however, present an opportunity to those within the fishing industry. Customers will be looking for reliability, consistency and stability among the uncertainty. With strong communications there is the chance to be a leading light in what may appear an uncertain time. Building a strong media presence can position you as the voice of the industry. It is perhaps not a time to rock the boat, as being consistent and reliable can breed confidence and trust.

Currently, 66% of UK fish exports go to the EU, meaning tariff-free or low-tariff trade could be vital to Britain in the coming years. Brexit will mean the UK leaves the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and gains the right under international law to control who fishes within its waters.

Whilst many see the UK’s impending release from EU ties as positive for the fishing industry, there are warnings to be considered. The CFP is a taboo topic in many industry circles and whilst ‘taking back control’ of British waters is a popular mantra, those working in fisheries will have to act smartly to ensure any potential freedom is enjoyed responsibly.

 

Source: Press Association

 

 

These concerns, and more, highlight the need for communications to be carefully managed and balanced with good practice to maintain successful operations within fishing companies. If companies show good preparation in their handling of the media and act first, fast and frank in the case of an incident, it can put them on the front foot rather than relying on reactionary measures.

Acceleris has worked with the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) since 2013, landing six awards in the process, at both national and European level.

Just days after starting work with the NFFO, we established an integrated crisis communications plan when they came up against a direct attack from Greenpeace, coinciding with ground-breaking European legislation change and a protest lobby led by TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. From a standing start, Acceleris achieved five of seven annual objectives in the first month, landing 88 pieces of coverage (89% positive), 135 million positive opportunities to see and laid the foundations for a much higher media profile, including coverage on Newsnight and in The Times.

We have since challenged misconceptions about the fishing industry through campaigns such as ‘Let Them Eat Hake’, the championing of Britain’s most sustainable fish, in 2014. Through a radio day, celebrity endorsements, hake tasting sessions attended by opinion formers and the use of video, the celebration of sustainability changed the conversation from concerns about overfishing, generating significant positive coverage across media platforms over a prolonged period.

We have the experience and expertise to make a difference from the get-go.

Challenges to fishing are not going to go away in a hurry. The balance between operating successfully at a financial level and maintaining responsibility is a difficult one to manage. If you need support steering through these turbulent times, we are here to help. Give us a call today on 0845 4567 251 or send an email to ellies@acceleris-mc.com.