A Collective Position government relations campaign for Wine Victoria has been recognised in the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) Golden Target Awards.
Uncorking Victoria’s Potential received a Commended award in the Public Affairs category for its notable advocacy outcomes achieved for a struggling Victorian wine industry.
Collective Position was engaged by the industry in 2013 when Wine Victoria emerged as the industry’s new peak body after facing significant issues of unprofitability, declining government funding and an unsupportive membership.
The new association needed Collective Position’s stakeholder engagement expertise to ‘revamp’ its strategic direction, reputation and stakeholder relationships.
The collapse of the industry’s peak body two years earlier had caused the Victorian Government to lose interest in working with divided stakeholders, while relationships and funding support had evaporated.
“Winemakers had been left with no shared voice and funding,” says Collective Position Director Rachael Sweeney.
“Collective Position was brought on board to address these shortfalls and get the industry back on the Government’s policy agenda.”
Tasked with rallying support from 21 dispirited wine regions for shared industry policy positions, Collective Position designed a membership engagement strategy and 18-month pre-election government relations campaign to win simultaneous government support.
Collective Position understood that increasing exports and tourism were seen as fundamental to Victoria’s economic success. Research showed that these issues were also key to a profitable future for the wine industry.
Collective Position set to work highlighting the growth potential of ‘wine’ in the export and tourism space, ensuring stakeholders understood that a profitable wine industry meant an economically strong Victoria.
Other areas of industry concern were identified to enable a full suite of industry issues representation.
By November 2014, support from both the Victorian Government and Opposition had proven that the voice and value of the wine industry had finally been recognised.
Commitments had been made in the two key areas of tourism and trade, and additional commitments had been made by the winning Party – Victorian Labor - to include Wine Victoria in policy design and delivery.
Collective Position took the industry from no support or recognition to industry-specific funding and a seat at the policy table. This has enabled the industry to take its first big steps in returning the industry to a profitable and globally competitive state.