THE NFU‘s new communications directorate will seek to present farming as a modern British industry and to raise awareness and confidence in British farming and food.

Rachel Oliver, director of communications, told the NFU Council on Monday (Jun 28) that the days of running campaigns which did not have clear strategic objectives were over.

Outlining her communications strategy, she said future campaigns would be research-based as this would capture journalists‘ interest, and they would be also policy-driven.

The NFU had to be clear about who its target audience was for each campaign and make sure the message fit the audience, she said.

In addition, it had to establish clear performance indicators so it was possible to say at each stage of a campaign whether it was proving a success.

The NFU should also be braver about its choice of external partners when it came to campaigning, she said, as this could work to the benefit of a campaign.

For example, people had sat up and taken notice of the union on the Gangmasters Bill, because it had worked in partnership with the Transport and General Workers Union.

“I think we can be a little more radical and original in the partners we seek,” she said.

Ms Oliver said she hoped to announce details of an exciting new campaign connected to the Little Red Tractor logo in the autumn.

She also revealed in future campaigns she would like to highlight the environmental integrity of British farmers and the contribution they made to the environment.

Other themes under consideration were promoting farming as a progressive and innovative industry, fostering urban understanding through education and showcasing fresh, wholesome food, she said.