Brand Activism

To combat the stigma of mental illness, Acceleron and HLK to connect farmers with resources

Recognizing mental health crisis in the heartland, HLK and Acceleron launch a campaign to link hurting farmers with resources, winning the companies Best Brand Activism honors in PR Daily’s 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.

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Amid an agricultural downturn, farmers were suffering in silence.

Acceleron, an advanced seed treatment technology company owned by Bayer, noticed widespread anxiety among its customers. Four of five farmers and farmworkers said financial woes and fear of losing the farm were harming their mental health.

As one customer said, “We were growing food but couldn’t afford to buy it. We worked 80 hours a week, but we couldn’t afford to see a dentist, let alone a therapist. I remember panic when a late freeze threatened our crop.”

Acceleron and HLK, a creative and technology agency, worked to offer stress relief through #FarmStateOfMind, a cross-platform mental health initiative designed to:

  • Break down the stigma surrounding mental health of farmers
  • Connect farmers to the resources they need

With next to no paid media, #FarmStateOfMind used many channels and people to spark conversations. The campaign included Facebook and Twitter and a webpage with resources, as well as outreach to agriculture and general consumer news media, social influencers, mental health experts and agriculture associations.

Among the results:

  • 9 million impressions on Facebook and Twitter
  • Coverage in nearly 50 publications
  • 4,500 shares and retweets on posts—compared to a previous average of 15
  • The American Farm Bureau Federation took over the campaign, ensuring its reach expanded.

View More Corporate Social Responsibility Awards 2020 Winners.

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