EP#31: Leveraging influencers and media, with Eleanor Dean

EP#31: Leveraging influencers and media, with Eleanor Dean

Eleanor Dean is the General Manager of Outreach and Capacity Building at the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). She has worked in a range of management roles, from strategic marketing and communication to leading the public affairs team. Her previous places of employment include the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Australian Tax Office and Department of Environment and Heritage.

A communications honours graduate from the University of Canberra, Eleanor has worked in public affairs and communications for the Australian Government for more than 23 years, on a range of issues including heritage, pollution, natural resource management, biodiversity, arts, education and training and superannuation.

One of Eleanor’s more recent campaigns has been broadcast on the SBS Food Network, aiming to promote awareness about the ACIAR. The television program titled “The Good Cooks” sent influencers to key ACIAR sites and aimed to promote current initiatives. The program was massively successful, reaching over 2 million people, leveraging media platforms and influencers.

Discussed in the episode:

  • Building a big public profile for a small government department
  • Rallying ministerial support for a high-risk campaign
  • The importance of communicating without advertising
  • Getting the balance right: editorial control and entertainment value
  • How social media and influencers helped Eleanor reach over 2 million people
  • Evaluating the campaign: reach vs awareness
  • Weighing up the risk and reward of ambitious, creative campaigns
  • Managing social media backlash
  • Current ACIAR work and where you can check out Eleanor’s program: “The Good Cooks’’


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