The Challenge

Red Havas was engaged by Norco, Australia’s oldest and largest dairy co-operative, to help them navigate the aftermath of the unprecedented Lismore floods, which saw their ice cream facility wiped out and hundreds of jobs at risk. As one of the region’s biggest employers, government funding was crucial to helping safeguard the future of the facility and in turn, employment for their workers which was crucial for the town’s economic recovery.

However, four months on from the floods, while there was ample talk of government support, there was little action and a looming deadline for Norco to make major business decisions. At the time, Norco was receiving a lot of media attention, when all Lismore businesses needed support. While we needed to drive action, Norco’s iconic position in the community, necessitated a broader focus on the whole business community, both to align with the co-operative values of Norco, and to limit risk associated with a continued focus solely on the needs of Norco.

The Solution

Supported by the local Mayor, we formed a coalition of major businesses calling on the governments for greater support for the entire region. We also used Norco’s deadline for major business decisions to set a timeframe on urgency of action.

We hosted a major press conference at an iconic Lismore location and implemented a strategic editorial plan which saw the story achieve widespread local, metro and national coverage – in addition to government funding which helped secure ongoing employment for Norco workers and in turn, support for the Northern Rivers region.

The Results

Initially, $17.7M which included: The NSW State Government announcing a $15M contribution to the Anchor Business Support Package and $2.7M in Federal Government funding for Norco enabling an additional 10 weeks employment for ice-cream factory employees. In total, $48.7M in total funding for Norco to support the rebuild of the ice cream facility

1 x prime time national TV appearance – 60 Minutes, 4 x breakfast television appearances spanning Today Show, 10 News Breakfast, ABC Breakfast and Sky News

590 pieces of media coverage. 10.6M audience reach

Industry Awards:

  • PRIA Golden Target Awards – Public Affairs & Advocacy – GOLD
  • PRIA Golden Target Awards – Crisis & Issues Management, GOLD
  • PR Asia Awards – Media Relations, Silver
  • PR Asia Awards – Public Affairs, Silver
  • PR Asia Awards – Reputation & Issues Management, Bronze
  • Mumbrella CommsCon – Media Relations, Highly Commended
  • Mumbrella CommsCon – Best Campaign on a Small Budget, Shortlist