PIP 2022/23 gets underway with media training

29 September 2022

Steve Humphreys

Steve Humphreys

NFU Poultry Industry Programme 2022/23, Broiler area manager, West Midlands

A photo of a poultry industry programme participant getting involved with media training. She is standing in front of a cameraman and interviewer.

Steve Humphreys is an area manager for Hay Farms, looking after multiple broiler farms and a renewables enterprise in the West Midlands. Steve writes about the media training launch of the 2022/23 Poultry Industry Programme.

September saw the first meeting for the latest PIP (Poultry Industry Programme) cohort with two days at the NFU’s head office at Stoneleigh Park for an induction and media training, in what was an enjoyable change from walking broiler houses.

Firstly, thanks must go to the NFU and ABN for putting the programme on during these challenging times within the poultry industry and wider economy.

Wanting to make the most of this opportunity, I willingly volunteered to do the first video blog and write-up, a decision I am now beginning to question (what was I thinking?).

A packed agenda had been put on for the event, with day one filled with introductions, group activities and speakers from across the NFU. Some ‘organised fun’ including ‘PIP Bingo’ was used to break the ice and get us talking.

Social skills

Moving on from the silly stuff, as we were there to learn and develop new skills, we heard from NFU President Minette Batters, who at the time had just had to deal with some inaccurate reporting over area payments. All very in keeping with the media training we were there to learn about. Her takeaway point for me was to ‘treat your MP as a stakeholder in your business’, by engaging with them; don’t just write to them, go and see them, talk to them.

With recent changes in leadership only time will tell if we finally have a government that will take food security seriously, but we must make sure our story is heard.

The NFU’s social media manager spoke about promoting farming on social media, encouraging us to all do this.

There are easily available apps that can help anyone edit and create content; short videos generate lots of interest and adding subtitles is a simple way of increasing views as well as looking professional. Messages included posting regularly, not engaging with trolls and ‘don’t drink and tweet’!

As an industry, I think we shy away from social media but its potential to engage with consumers must not be overlooked.

Getting the message across

The second day was all about being in front of the microphone. We did mock radio and TV interviews which we then watched back with the group, or as I like to think of it ‘how to feel more awkward in front of people you met yesterday’.

We learned to stick to our message, even if we are not asked the question we wanted or had prepared for.

There are few things that annoy me more than watching an interviewee avoid all the questions, but here I was learning the skills to do so; in simple terms, sticking with two key facts or points and shoehorning them into every answer!

It’s also important to keep to your messaging and try to relate to the viewers/consumers. Location for videos is key; I wouldn’t recommend standing in front of the muck heap or the Range Rover as both could give the wrong message.

It was a brilliant first session with the PIP, learning new skills and meeting some new people from across the industry.

I eagerly await the next meeting, and if you’re still reading this, I thank you, it can’t have been easy!

Watch a vlog from one of the participants

More accounts from our 22/23 PIP cohort:

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