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RSABI's #KeepTalking Campaign Wins Top PR Award

RSABI's #KeepTalking Campaign Wins Top PR Award

23 October 2020

A campaign to encourage people in the Scottish farming community to #KeepTalking has won a top UK PR award.

The campaign run by RSABI - the charity which supports people in Scottish agriculture - has lifted the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists’ PR Award 2020.

The #KeepTalking campaign aimed to address concerns that people could be at particular risk of feeling lonely, anxious or unhappy this year given the additional impact of COVID-19 restrictions.

The campaign was timed to cover the quieter period after spring work and run until 21 June, which would have been the final day of the Royal Highland Show. It encouraged farmers, crofters and others involved in agriculture to make the time to pick up the phone, or chat online, to connect with other people. 

The four-week campaign delivered strong results via broadcast, print and social media with a total reach on social media alone of over 625,000, and over 177,000 video views.

Farmer and TV comedian Jim Smith was the face of the campaign, which also saw RSABI working with auctioneers from across the country as #KeepTalking ambassadors. 

A high-impact video of a West Lothian farming family speaking openly about losing a member of their family to suicide was also launched to raise awareness of mental health and the importance of talking.

RSABI focused on four priority areas, spelling TALK: Talk to people; Act now (don’t wait); Listen – people may seem ok but they may not be; and KeepTalking. 

Award judges said the campaign benefitted from “clear strategic thinking” and “great planning to coincide with the critical points where people might feel isolated, plus inspired use of auctioneers and industry figures people can relate to.”

Ewan Pate, Chair of RSABI, accepted the award on behalf of the charity at an online event run by the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists.

“The RSABI team are totally committed to supporting those in need in Scottish agriculture and to have won this national award is wonderful recognition of their hard work, and the vital help of our supporters and volunteers across the country,” said Mr Pate.

A key aspect of the success of #KeepTalking was engaging with organisations from throughout the industry who got behind RSABI in support of the campaign. 

Nina Clancy, Chief Executive of RSABI, extended heartfelt thanks to Jim Smith, the Arkley and Allan families, the auctioneer ambassadors and all the organisations and individuals who had backed the campaign and helped to make it such a success. 

Ms Clancy also thanked staff, in particular RSABI Communications and Marketing Officer Norette Ferns, and volunteer Carol McLaren for all the work which went into developing and delivering the campaign. 

In recent weeks the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs’ Bale Art competition has used the #KeepTalking message, further extending the reach of the campaign. Ms Clancy explained that the message is still vitally important.

She said: “The importance of the #KeepTalking message continues, especially as we head into the winter months with restrictions still in place. It’s important we try to stay connected, make the time to check in on each other, call someone we haven’t spoken to for a while or catch up with those who may be feeling more isolated.

“We would strongly encourage anyone who is feeling low, or just not themselves, to find someone to talk openly with. RSABI is also here to help – our helpline is open 365 days a year from 7am – 11pm on 0300 111 4166.”

Demand for RSABI services has never been higher and, Ms Clancy said, it is vital the charity is able to support those in need in the Scottish agricultural community. The charity is encouraging people and businesses to consider giving regularly to the charity by signing up to their Supporter Scheme from as little as £2 per month.

“A small monthly donation can make a huge difference. Over a year £2 per month covers the cost of six helpline calls, providing vital support,” she explained.

Information on the Supporter Scheme can be found at: https://www.rsabi.org.uk/Our-Supporter-Scheme

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Providing emotional, practical and financial support to individuals and their families across the agricultural sector including farming, crofting and growing.

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