Author: David Rowlinson
Forest and Wood Products Australia’s (FWPA) The Ultimate Renewable™ brand has been named twice on the winners’ list for the 2020 International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Gold Quill Awards.
For more than 40 years, the IABC’s Gold Quill Awards has recognised excellence in strategic communication worldwide, and is acknowledged as one of the most prestigious awards programs in the communications and marketing industries.
The organisers recognised FWPA’s entry ‘The Ultimate Renewable™ – Reframing Forestry in the Eyes of the Public’ in the Marketing, Advertising, and Brand Communication Category, with quills awarded by both IABC Victoria and IABC Asia-Pacific.
Ric Sinclair, FWPA Managing Director, said the industry around the world has long struggled with the conundrum of broad community acceptance of wood products alongside a persistent underlying concern about sustainable forest management.
“Our research shows the community largely understands that wood stores carbon, and that using wood can help to reduce carbon emissions. However, we need to improve people’s understanding that harvested trees are actually replaced and grow into a resource for use by future generations,” Mr Sinclair said.
“By providing education and challenging misconceptions, the goal is to encourage the wider community to embrace forest and wood products across the supply chain, increasing acceptance of and demand for timber in Australia.”
Following rigorous industry and consumer consultation, The Ultimate Renewable™ brand was developed to reinforce the association between wood and the word ‘renewable’, while simultaneously promoting benefits of timber as a material. Benefits including timber’s ability to store carbon for the lifetime of the timber, beyond harvest and processing, flexibility and ease of use, affordability, and the improved wellbeing researchers suggest results from incorporating natural materials like wood into the built environment.
The Ultimate Renewable™ promotional campaign comprised several communication tactics designed to engage industry and consumers, including face-to-face events, and advertising across social media, TV, outdoor displays, EDMs, and trade and consumer magazines.
As well as providing an all-encompassing consumer campaign the brand also offers a universal, positive communications message for members of the forestry sector to share and incorporate into their own marketing collateral, further spreading the campaign details and amplifying the messages.
“FWPA operates in an incredibly diverse sector. But no matter where our stakeholders sit across the supply chain, the reality is we all share a common resource, which is renewable,” said Mr Sinclair.
The consumer campaign led to 24% of Australians claiming they recalled seeing the campaign, with 67% of those asserting it had made them more supportive of forestry.
Eileen Newbury, National Marketing and Communications Manager at FWPA, said the reception from the general public, and also the high level of industry uptake was exceptional.
“I would like to thank our members and the forest and wood products industry for throwing their support behind this brand,” Ms Newbury said.
“We’ve seen the brand assets appear everywhere from business cards to branded cakes! It just goes to show what our industry can achieve by working together in this way.”
Mr Sinclair commented the industry was highly supportive of a collaborative marketing initiative which was the key to its tremendous success.
“By working together we are much stronger than the sum of our individual parts,” Mr Sinclair continued.
“The Gold Quill Awards are globally renowned and it is wonderful to see our work recognised in this way. It’s heartening to be acknowledged, particularly as part of such a strong field of entries.
“While the campaign itself continues to generate positive outcomes for the forestry industry, receiving this recognition serves to validate the effectiveness of our approach with The Ultimate Renewable™,” Mr Sinclair concluded.
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