'Eat Up' campaign suggested to advocate farming
RURAL industries have been told to be more aggressive in their public relations battles, if they are to avoid the resounding defeats like the live exports and super trawler issues.
One media expert suggested the creation of an "Eat Up" group for farming advocates to swiftly return fire, or launch attacks, when a controversial issue lands on the public radar.
Inspired by campaigning powerhouse GetUp!, which pushed the public to take a stand on both the trawler and live export issues, managing director of media firm Cox + Inall Tim Powell said farmers needed to do better.
He said the ruthless efficiency of these crusades was built by tapping into the "middle class guilt" of people, giving them the capacity to take action by simply clicking a few buttons on a website.
The wheels of GetUp! are also greased by donations made by supporters as a high-profile campaign is rolled out.It is a beast that Mr Powell believes primary producers need to emulate.
"Let's get a rolling fund in place," Mr Powell said.
"We could call it Eat Up For Agriculture - it will get someone like me to assuage my middle-class guilt to help farming.
"It would be about making farmers as cute as a dolphin and piglet wrapped up together."
Georgie Somerset, the head of the Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women's Network, said agriculture groups needed to make information easily available for use when rural or agriculture advocates wanted to defend their industry.
She backed Mr Powell's plan for a campaigning group to supplement those who stood for the agricultural industry.
Mr Powell did not target farming advocacy groups already in place but said this was the entire industry's responsibility to stand up for itself.
"Doing this is not somebody's job, it's everybody's job."