The challenge is to offer close, transparent, truthful, personalised communication supported by scientific data and studies.
More than 170 registered professionals participated in the webinar "Trends in the new agri-food business communication", organised by the fairs of the agri-food sector of IFEMA: Fruit Attraction, Meat Attraction and Intersicop, and the Association of Agri-Food Journalists of Spain (APAE), which discussed the opportunities, challenges and strategies that are being carried out in the field of agri-food communication in the new post-Covid scenario.
The session, which started with a welcome from Raúl Calleja, director of agri-food events and IFEMA, was moderated by Elisa Plumed, APAE general secretary, and was attended by the professionals: José Manuel Álvarez, director of Communication in Meat and Health; Piedad Coscollá, head of commercial marketing and corporate image at ANECOOP; Álvaro Baez, Head of Communication at ASEMAC, and Fernando Gómez, General Director of Proexport.
Elisa Plumed, responsible for opening this meeting, praised the media impact of the agri-food sector during the lockdown, opening news broadcasts, appearing on the front pages of the most popular newspapers, and above all taking care of the public and living up to expectations at all times.
In his various presentations, and along the same lines, José Manuel Álvarez commented that public opinion is currently in the sector’s favour and its excellent image must be used to communicate more and better. He emphasised the need to "be transparent, to inform the consumer that the agri-food sector is at the forefront internationally, and to rely on scientific studies and evidence and on the great experts -doctors and scientists-. The sector has the public’s attention, and it must be exploited”.
Among other issues, Piedad Coscolla highlighted the importance of reporting what the sector is doing with different messages, and the need for companies to invest more in communication. “It makes no sense to be one of the most highly-rated countries in the world in the agri-food sector and not go out and tell everyone. The important thing is not what is sold, but how it is sold. Communication needs to be personalised.”
Álvaro Báez also said that all companies must devote resources to communication and have marketing and communication budgets. “All companies, today, have excellent quality products and the added value and the big difference lies in how they communicate. So, good communication carried out by professionals, with targets and strategies, is important”.
For his part, Fernando Gómez explained that “right now on-line communication is as important as off-line. Communication is all-channel -the physical store, e-commerce, mobile applications, the Facebook page, the Instagram account, interviews, press releases, etc. All channels available to companies must be considered. But above all, we must bring the journalists closer to the company, take them to production, to the fields, to the channels for them to write with direct knowledge. Put a good journalist at the forefront of communication in your company”.
In short, communication is a business investment of great importance due to its high return. The challenge for all companies and institutions is to have close, transparent, truthful, personalised communication, supported by scientific data and studies. The doors must be opened to the press to earn success in the markets.
After the success of the session, Raúl Calleja said goodbye with the commitment to hold a face-to-face event under the same theme during Fruit Attraction, for which an extraordinary and unique edition with physical presence will be held from 20 to 22 October.
In Calleja's words, “Communication is increasingly omni-client-centred, personalising the messages for each population group. It must be credible and honest, and capable of building and adding value to the market, adapting the messages and communication strategies to each channel. Fruit Attraction, Meat Attraction and Intersicop are large sector communication platforms aimed at a very specific target, where they sell CREDIBILITY, reputational content. Not communicating or miscommunicating has a direct effect on sales”
If you want to see the full content of the meeting you can do so at https://youtu.be/3sr-PJwhqB8