The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations

Navigating a ‘perfect media storm’ to help a major fishing body deal with a direct attack from Greenpeace.

The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) represents fishermen and producer organisations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Definition was appointed to challenge negative perceptions of UK fishermen and focus instead on their efforts to develop a sustainable industry.

Little did we know that within days, the NFFO would come up against a direct attack from Greenpeace, which coincided with ground-breaking European legislative change and a protest lobby led by TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Definition was tasked with defending the fishing industry’s reputation from unwarranted, inaccurate and sensationalist media attacks.

We undertook an integrated crisis communications plan, which included a 24-hour press office function. Local fishermen helped combat the potentially negative messages of the Channel 4 Fish Fight programme regionally, while NFFO Chief Executive, Barrie Deas, joined Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on a march on Westminster.


  • 88 pieces of coverage (89% positive)
  • 135 million positive opportunities to see
  • Five of seven annual objectives were achieved in the first month
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