A Change is in the Air writes regional publicist, Georgie Robertson.
Pick up your favourite metro paper or magazine and chances are you’ll find stories highlighting people and businesses in the bush. Profiles on country innovation; spreads that include rural products; articles illuminating issues far beyond city borders. It’s a refreshing shift in consciousness that as a country publicist, I feel hasn’t been seen in decades. Suddenly, regional and rural stories count. It seems to me that we are re-forging a connection between city and bush in a way that feels permanent. And a large part of this is thanks to the Buy from the Bush campaign.
The social media campaign sparked very real, tangible and seemingly sustained change in buying habits. City consumers are engaging with country providers in an unprecedented way, and this in turn has shown metro media there’s a very real appetite for stories beyond the ‘burbs. Metro dwellers want to know what’s happening in the lives of the producers who feed and clothe us, and the constellations of country towns that navigate around them. There’s been a re-connection that is less driven by the rhetoric of us and them; and more a very Australian sense of comraderie and togetherness.
This mantle has been heartily and generously taken up by the metro media. Again and again, I’ve been moved by the dedication of editors, journalists and producers to lift the profile of bush businesses and carry the momentum originally demanded by customers. This support has been a mainstay in the sweeping success of BFTB, carrying the cause beyond the realms of drought and crisis, and settling into consumer choices that are deliberately driven. This inclusivity extends beyond a Chrissie pressie and into the collective conscience; shifting the tastes of what we consume in our media as well as our shopping lists.
If we are what we read, then increasingly, optimistically, we’re a country bound by its aggregate; a mutual force for good.
Georgie Robertson is the Founder and Director of Regional PR in Wagga Wagga, NSW.