Firm lands European 
award for fisheries PR

Managing director Louise Vaughan, account executive Alex Whitaker and account director Ellie St George-Yorke pick up the Issues and Reputation Management trophy for its campaign for Europ�che at the European Communications Excellence ceremony in Stockholm.'December 2015.
Managing director Louise Vaughan, account executive Alex Whitaker and account director Ellie St George-Yorke pick up the Issues and Reputation Management trophy for its campaign for Europ�che at the European Communications Excellence ceremony in Stockholm.'December 2015.

A Harrogate PR and communications agency has beaten competition from global corporations to snatch a major European award.

Acceleris brushed aside challenges from the likes of BP, Unilever and BASF to pick up the Issues and Reputation Management trophy at the European Communications Excellence ceremony in Stockholm for a nine-country, trilingual campaign to challenge misperceptions and outdated views of the European fishing industry. It is the second time the agency has scooped the award, winning it last in Munich in December 2013.

Managing director Louise Vaughan said: “We were up against some highly impressive campaigns from some large global organisations which makes our success all the more remarkable. It really does feel like a David-versus-Goliath result.”

Acceleris won the award for its campaign on behalf of Europêche, the Brussels-based industry trade body representing 80,000 fishermen across nine EU countries.

Kathryn Stack, managing director at Europêche, said: “The team really challenged us to look beyond our traditional channels and spread our messages to a much wider, more mainstream audience – which was a key priority for us.”

Appointed in late 2014, Acceleris worked to devise an integrated PR and digital media campaign to combat misconceptions about the €7bn industry across Europe.

As part of its work Acceleris commissioned the first pan-European survey into attitudes around the industry and developed iFish, a consumer-facing portal designed to counter misinformation, address the growing appetite for information on the industry, and create a unified voice for European fishermen.

The campaign secured almost 200 pieces of pan-European media coverage, reaching an audience of 140 million and engagement from the EU Commission, as well as a number of retailers.

Acceleris chief executive Peter Davenport added: “The agency works across the public, private and third sectors and we pride ourselves on creating campaigns with insight, intelligence and innovation and awards like this, judged by our peers across Europe, only serve to underscore those values as well as the creativity and commitment of every single member of staff.”