Guild member Catherine Linch is delighted that her specialist agricultural PR and marketing agency Pinstone Communications has been appointed as PR consultancy to the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust.
The opportunity to tender for the Trust’s PR activity was publicised through a Guild eAlert, which generated a healthy response.
“In total we received fourteen enquiries, almost all through the Guild notice,” says John Stones, Nuffield director. “Ten applied, two more were very keen but could not match our expectations with their current workload and two did not take a submission further.
“Short listing and final interview was a real challenge, since everyone offered something special and could have contributed to Nuffield. Short listed candidates were given two challenges – a ‘Tweet’ promoting Nuffield, and then, at short notice, they were asked to outline the response they would recommend to a threat to the image and values of the Nuffield awards as a result of adverse publicity.
“On the day, Pinstone had done their homework, stepped up to the mark to address the challenges we set and demonstrated through their research that they shared our passion for the Nuffield principles.”
Stephen Watkins, the newly appointed Nuffield chairman adds: “We are delighted to have Pinstone on board. Catherine and her colleagues will bring sector specific knowledge and a strategic approach to our PR and marketing activity.
Catherine Linch established the agency in 2005 and now employs a small team of agricultural communication professionals.
“I am thrilled and very proud to have successfully tendered for the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust – it’s a great addition to our client portfolio and has come at a time when we’re expanding into new sectors of the industry,” she says.
“Nuffield is unique within agriculture, rewarding individuals with a passion and ambition by providing the opportunity to travel and study,”Catherine adds. “We want to capture that sense of enthusiasm and energy to attract more prospective candidates with the potential to make an impact upon their industry.”
The NFST Conference held at the end of October illustrated the scope of the scheme, with presentations by 2010 scholars on arable and livestock technical topics, meat marketing, milk production, agricultural policy development and prospects for attracting new blood to the farming industry.
Guild member Caroline Stocks (right) presented her farming communications study – her precis and presentation slides, along with those for all the scholars, can be viewed on the NFTS website.
Catherine Linch points out: “There are some fantastic story opportunities from those returning from their travels and who have gained insights into a diverse range of subjects across faming, food, horticulture and rural sectors. Any Guild members interested in following-up scholar studies can get in touch with me or my colleague Helen Harcombe.”
Guild member Emma Penny (left), editor of Farmers Guardian, helped judge the Best Presentation award at the NFST conference, which went to Michael Blanche for a lively delivery of his scholarship topic, ‘The farming ladder’.
Fellow Guild member, Farmers Weekly editor Jane King, helped judge the award for the scholar who has used his study to best effect; it commemorates Steven Bullock who managed the magazine’s own farms from the mid-1960s to the 1980s and was presented to farmer Ian Pigott.