SPRING GULLY FOODS
Spring Gully Foods – founded in 1946 – is one of South Australia’s best-known brands, and a third-generation company with a proud tradition of excellence.
Corporate Conversation has been providing strategic communications advice to Spring Gully for more than 15 years.
In April 2013, Spring Gully entered Voluntary Administration after a particularly difficult trading period. With debts of around $11 million, the company had been hit by an unexpected and sudden decline in sales, meaning it could not service its debts.
Spring Gully required an immediate and massive turnaround in sales, together with internal company changes, if it was to avoid liquidation and save the jobs of 41 staff.
Achieving this turnaround while under Administration with tight deadlines and limited funding was a significant challenge – and communications played a key role.
Corporate Conversation realised the campaign needed to quickly harness the support of traditional, electronic and social media around Australia with the aim of:
Attracting immediate strong community support and increased sales; and
Highlighting Spring Gully’s South Australian-owned, third generation family business status to potential consumers
By attracting strong community support and increasing sales, this would enable the Administrator and Spring Gully to:
Negotiate more successfully with major supermarket chains
Seek potential external assistance
Win new contracts; and
Gain new customers and boost loyalty among existing customers
Corporate Conversation advised Spring Gully to adopt a high-profile and open approach that proactively sought media and public support.
The use of video and social media to respond directly to consumers was identified as an important tool to augment traditional media activities.
The open, honest approach to the media paid immediate dividends, with very positive coverage obtained in all media.
The social media campaign was driven by regularly updating Spring Gully’s 16,000 plus followers on Facebook and Twitter with compelling content, including the company’s progress, news announcements and videos.
Corporate Conversation also provided strategically-shot video that was incorporated into the Spring Gully website and provided for use to the media.
The outcome was spectacularly successful. Spring Gully survived and is once again under the control of the family.
Corporate Conversation continues to work closely with Spring Gully as the company reinvigorates its brand and continues building on its already strong customer base.
Comments from Kevin Webb, Managing Director, Spring Gully Foods:
“Throughout this journey of ours, we have had a partner that has stood tall by us from day one and that partner was Corporate Conversation. Without their team we would not have got through this. They have coached us and been with us all the way through and again I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for our particular story and our particular journey.
“Every time we needed some media representation, Corporate Conversation was there. They were behind me, they were beside me, they were organising, they were the ones that got the story out the way we needed the story out. Without Corporate Conversation I think this journey would have a very different outcome.”