Environment Canterbury wins national communications awards

Need a hand?No worries!-PRINZ award-Communication 

Environment Canterbury's communications campaign to introduce the toughest rules around farming won the Marketing Communication PR award at the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) Awards last night.

The campaign entitled 'Doing things differently: How to introduce the country's toughest farming rules' was about introducing a series of new rules aimed at improving water quality across the region.

In a series of connected campaigns, beginning February 2017, thousands of farmers across Canterbury were contacted with advice of the new requirements, clear steps to achieve the required change, and channels of support both directly and through industry bodies.

By January 2018, 92 percent of the 1000 farmers targeted had taken the required action.

This programme was supported by a wider public campaign encouraging concerned urban people to look deeper and better understand the full story about the connection between farming and water quality.

PRINZ judges commented that the campaign was "a very well researched and considered behavioural change campaign.  The results highlight how sound strategy and engagement processes coupled with clear communication can result in visible progress on a potentially fraught issue."

Highlighting the importance of good communication

Environment Canterbury director of communications, Tafflyn Bradford-James, said that the organisation’s entry highlighted the importance of good communications across its practices.

“Entering the PRINZ awards is part and parcel of the benchmarking work that we continue to do on an ongoing basis, and it allows us to recognise and celebrate the importance of proactive, effective communications to our audiences,” she said.

“In recent years, new rules meant that Canterbury's 8,800 farmers were to be subjected to the toughest water quality regulations in the country.  Our communications team worked with experts across the council to make sure farmers knew about this requirement and took the appropriate action.”

“The scale and impact of the rules were such that we undertook comprehensive research to understand what the sector needed from us, which was key to the project’s success,” Tafflyn said.