Home' National Farmers Federation : Annual Report 2009-2010 Full Issue Contents FEATURE
Submission in January 2008, the NFF then
re ned its political communications targeting
Expenditure Review Committee (ERC) Ministers
-- who determine Budget priorities -- ahead of
ERC's nal meeting in February 2008.
Common issues were explored with the
Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), the
Australian Greens and Lee Kernaghan -- each
receiving Kits -- seeing information shared,
strategies focused, and consistent messages
presented to common stakeholders, with
farming and preparedness positive features.
Between March 2007-April 2008 the NFF
generated 13,182 metropolitan, major
regional and specialist media hits carrying its
modern farming messages. Over whelmingly,
coverage was prominent (79% of print in the
rst 15-pages) and on-message (83% of print,
91% of radio and 92% of television) -- with the
NFF's engagement and resources valued by
journalists and politicians.
Before and during the election, NFF-generated
media coverage pressed the need for
preparedness in the face of climate change.
Labor 's then-Shadow Agriculture Spokesman
Senator Kerry O'Brien adopted and proliferated
NFF messages before the election.
The NFF, the Australian Greens and ACF jointly
criticised the Coalition's failure to acknowledge
the need for preparedness. While benchmark
research revealed exceptionally high mean
ratings (8.77 to 9.0) for NFF's preparedness
messages -- this was maintained through the
The NFF's advertising campaign (metropolitan
and regional television and over 3,000 YouTube
hits) was an e ective 'lightening rod' for
preparedness, with signi cant improvements in
acceptance and awareness.
While those overwhelmingly agreeing with the
NFF's messages remained steady around 70%
(that is, those rating the messages a 10, 9, 8,
etc.), tracking revealed signi cant movement in
those disagreeing with the messages -- falling
from 17% at the beginning of the campaign
down to 6% by the end. This achieved
an astonishing 94% support for the NFF's
positioning of farming's needs and issues.
Further, during the election campaign
(October-November 2007), the NFF generated
2,445 free-media hits -- 71% carrying
preparedness messages. Of these 1,735 hits,
coverage was prominent (67% of print in the
rst 15-pages), with 72% of print, 86% of radio
and 87% of television on-message.
The NFF's high on-message rating, combined
with prominence and volume, ensured
resonance with audiences. This was backed-up
by tracking research.
Lee Kernaghan proliferated NFF data
and messages and the Greens reinforced
preparedness messages as part of necessary
drought reform and sensible environmental
The NFF advocated messages and members
rallied, presenting uni ed positions -- especially
important in specialist farm media.
The 2008 Federal Budget began the shift
towards the NFF's call to better prepare
agriculture's productive base for less water,
increased climate variability and the possibility
of longer periods of drought, using a successful
narrative around long-term management,
preparedness and planning.
Under the Budget, the Federal Government
implemented and funded preparedness to
the start-up tune of $130 million -- this was
over-and-above the $760 million for ongoing
Preparedness, as new farm investment, was
roundly accepted, achieving extensive positive
media coverage, with the NFF's role recognised
by Federal Agriculture Minister Tony Burke in
Media: achieved prominent, well-informed
coverage of messages, negating harmful
stereotypes, to build community and
stakeholder awareness of farming's importance,
and generate widespread support for
Advertising: cut through election noise as an
e ective 'lightening rod', while YouTube and
Internet proved e ective 'extras' in reaching an
Political: Labor in Opposition, and later in
Government, adopted NFF's preparedness
agenda and publicly reinforced NFF messages.
Membership: coordinated and maintained
a concerted member network, arming and
mobilising members with resources and
consistent messages, while allaying farmer
Third-Parties: secured e ective alliances to
publicly support NFF's preparedness agenda.
These relationships achieved a shared vision,
proliferation of NFF messages and created
an in uential coalition of support behind
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