The past 18 months have been a whirlwind, writes Eve Communications’ Director Ben Pike.
We’ve always advised clients and potential clients that they need to regularly review what they do and how they do it when it comes to PR and marketing.
In the past, that conversation has often led to more of a digital focus being brought into their communications with farmers – be that creating videos, improving the efficacy of their social media channels, holding online events or including more blogs and e-newsletters in their strategies.
But the pandemic has accelerated the pace of change beyond anything we could have imagined. It’s like the penny has dropped.
Unable to meet their customers and members face-to-face, clients have been forced to think laterally about how to use their budgets to reach as many people as possible using technology.
If you don’t work in agriculture, you may not realise just how little technology is used by companies in this sector to reach their customers. We are really only just scratching the surface.
Similarly, many farmers (who sit in high-tech tractor cabs every day or control the environment in a livestock shed using cutting-edge innovations) will have attended their first ever online meeting in the past year and a half.
For us, this has been brilliant. We have been able to create, host or take part in more than 15 online events which between them have attracted thousands of delegates.
We’ve created more video that ever before – on some days this year we have had three camera operators out on the ground capturing content for clients.
And requests for social media training and content planning have been coming through at a regular pace.
A cracking example is the first webinar we ran for the Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) last November. Normally the launch of the Descriptive Lists is attended by a handful of journalists at the CropTec show, but we helped the PGRO move online.
It was attended by over 100 people on the day, but has now attracted more than 500 views on YouTube – a number which is likely to double before planting this autumn as farmers seek more information.
The big question now is ‘how this is going to play out in the future?’.
In-person events are back, but will a farmer travel for two hours to attend a meeting now that they are competent at participating online? Some will, but others certainly won’t. Clients are also growing evermore aware of the environmental footprint associated with lots of vehicles driving to large events.
The early signs are that a hybrid model is going to be required – and we have one VERY exciting project in the pipeline that I hope to be able to share with you soon.
In the meantime, give our team a call if you’d like support with any of your plans for 2021/22.