Working alongside SAOS, Scotland’s experts on co-operative and collaborative strategies, a group of 29 dairy farmers from the Mull of Kintyre in the West of Scotland, who all supply milk into the Campbeltown Creamery (which makes the famous Mull of Kintyre cheddar) undertook to purchase the creamery from First Milk after it was put up for sale.
This purchase plan was large and complex, but a key element focused on a crowdfunding campaign to raise £50,000 from members of the public to a) provide additional financial support for the purchase and b) raise awareness of the group and of the Mull of Kintyre cheddar brand.
Scene & Herd agreed to undertake the PR associated with the crowdfunding campaign free of charge in order to support this excellent cause.
The PR strategy focused on print and broadcast media coverage and social media. We prepared and issued a press release announcing the crowdfunding campaign and issued across local and national print and broadcast media.
Additionally, we drove forward a social media campaign (across Facebook, Twitter and, to a lesser degree, Instagram) which included a series of update and ‘thank you’ videos from a number of the 29 farmers within the group.
The hashtag #kintyrecheddar was used in association with the campaign.
Print and online media coverage of the crowdfunding campaign was extensive, including BBC, The Times, The Herald, The Scotsman, The Courier, The Scottish Farmer, The Farmers Weekly, Campbeltown Courier, Argyllshire Advertiser and more.
Additionally, the dairy farmers appeared on STV news and on BBC’s Landward programme, speaking about their purchase plans.
On social media, reach was incredibly strong across both Facebook and Twitter. On Twitter, we encouraged people to engage and retweet and a number of ‘blue tick’ (verified) influencers engaged, including chef Mark Greenaway, cyclist Mark Beaumont and the BBC’s Douglas Fraser. In addition, well-known farmer and comedian Jim Smith joined in and supported.
We also reached out to local author Denzil Meyrick quoting one of his book titles at him. Denzil responded with a challenge to the Scottish crime writing community (including Val McDermid) which resulted in a lot of engagement:
Last, but not least, Crowdfunder showcased the campaign on World Food Day to their 59.6k followers.
🧀 Securing the future of dairy farming in Kintyre
Can you help the farmers of #Kintyre buy #CampbeltownCreamery so they can ensure the future production of the world-famous Mull of Kintyre Cheddar? #WorldFoodDay @mullokintyrehttps://t.co/ZKBWeLgwjA pic.twitter.com/qKrmAGroWC
— Crowdfunder (@crowdfunderuk) October 16, 2019
The result of all the varied activity outlined above was that the initial £50,000 crowdfund target was reached within under four days of the campaign going live and so this target was then extended to £80,000. In the end, almost £100,000 was raised within the campaign.
Very sadly, after production of this case study, it was announced that, for reasons outside of their control, and despite the success of the crowdfunding campaign, the Mull of Kintyre Dairy Farmers were no longer able to continue with the purchase of the Campbeltown Creamery. We are naturally enormously disappointed on their behalf and wish them all the very best for the future.