The goal for this campaign was not about product marketing or social media growth. Our mission was to raise awareness of a problem that plagues the UK farming community – mental health struggles – and to signpost support.
We broke this down into the following objectives
- To provide farmers with useful information to support them through personal, financial, domestic or business concerns.
- To raise awareness among farmers that it’s okay to ask for help, and to encourage them to speak up before they reach a crisis point.
- To encourage the farming community to “walk in someone else’s boots” and open up conversations between neighbours and friends.
- To raise spirits and spread positive vibes around a difficult and sensitive topic.
Our bottom line, though, was to help at least one farmer to get help before it was too late. That was our ultimate mission.
We proposed to Volac that we should partner up with The Farming Community Network to run a campaign to support farmers experiencing mental health difficulties.
Farming can be an isolating, exhausting, lonely job. This, combined with business pressures and long hours, this can create a toxic mix for mental health.
A 2021 study by the Farm Safety Foundation found that 88% of farmers under the age of 40 rank poor mental health as the biggest problem they face today.
The campaign ran for 8 weeks across Facebook and Twitter, which are the most active social networks used by UK farmers. The campaign involved four main activities:
1) A Live Event
The showpiece of the campaign was a Facebook Live video featuring a speaker from FCN. The conversation was around mental health in farming, highlighting solutions for help. We hosted this on the Megalac Facebook Page (which is followed by over 11,000 farmers).
2) Useful Resources
In the run up to the Facebook Live, we published a series of useful and engaging blog posts, sharing facts, farmer stories and resources.
3) A Community Challenge
Alongside the information campaign, we wanted farmers to support their friends and colleagues who were taking the first step to recovery. We asked farmers to join our Step Challenge, using the Strava health app, where we could collate their walks/runs on a map of the UK.
4) Influencer marketing – We invited two well-known farming influencers to join the campaign, to add their reach and credibility to our message.