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AWARD REFLECTS ON CLIENT AND AGENCY
On their own, marketing awards are great, but they're even better when they acknowledge not just the work but also a longstanding relationship between client and agency. That's the way it is with AdFarm and RBC Royal Bank.

AdFarm team members from left to right are: Ron Wall, Roberta Davis, Wendy Gold, Audra Fimmers, Neasa Maguire, and Kim McConnell.
AdFarm is ranked as one of the top five agriculture marketing and communications agencies in North America, with offices in Canada and the United States. One of its major clients is Canada's largest financial institution, RBC Royal Bank, a bank with more than 130 years of providing service to Canadian farmers. As a matter of fact, RBC Royal Bank serves more farm families than any other bank in North America.

At the recent Canadian Agri-Marketing Association's Best of CAMA event held in Calgary, AdFarm and RBC Royal Bank shared top honors by taking home Best of Show - Public Relations for the bank's farm finance newsletter, Agriculture Business Review. The newsletter also received the Best Newsletter award in the Public Relations category.

With more than 90 entries in the Public Relations category alone, there was no lack of competition at the annual event, so the win came as a pleasant surprise for AdFarm's CEO, Kim McConnell.

"Of course, it's always nice to be recognized for our work," says McConnell. "This is especially gratifying because we were up against some excellent work from national and international clients."

The newsletter is distributed to more than 30,000 Canadian farmers in both official languages - English and French - five times a year. Each issue provides helpful information and professional advice on a broad range of topics such as farm management, farm business, innovations and the latest in value-added initiatives.

According to Brian Little, national manager for agriculture and agribusiness at RBC Royal Bank, providing farm finance information to its customers is one of the bank's long-term strategies.

Agriculture Business Review is one part of RBC Royal Bank and AdFarm's marketing strategy that reaches more than 30,000 Canadian farmers.
"Agriculture Business Review is just one of the ways in which we are able to share helpful information with our farm customers. Market research shows that the newsletter is extremely well received by both farmers and the agribusiness community," he says. "Articles are frequently picked up by other farm publications across Canada."

"One of the things that makes this newsletter unique," says McConnell, "is its ability to steer clear of using testimonials and promoting bank products. It's filled with good financial tips and advice that farmers can use."

While Canadian farmers are the primary target audience, the newsletter also reaches a wider audience including bank clients, industry groups and government decision makers.

However, the Agriculture Business Review is just one element of an integrated communications marketing strategy AdFarm has developed specifically for RBC Royal Bank. Other elements include advertising, direct marketing, community relations, media relations and online resources.

"We are so pleased to have received this award," says McConnell, "but it's really a reflection of 15 years of work and partnership that we've developed with RBC Royal Bank. Agriculture Business Review is an important part of that commitment." AM


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