BMSB awareness campaign proves its worth
Every New Zealander has a role to play in managing the risk of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB).
During the most recent high-risk season (September 2019 through to April 2020) KVH co-funded a nationwide summer BMSB education campaign with Biosecurity New Zealand and other horticultural sectors to lift public awareness around the damaging impacts of the pest and increase the likelihood of early detection through surveillance.
The results of the summer campaign are in:
• There were a record number of calls to the Biosecurity New Zealand hotline (1415 calls compared to 937 the season prior).
• Website ads generated the most calls to the hotline.
• There were over 11 million views of our online ads on websites like MetService, Stuff.co.nz, TVNZ and TV3 websites.
• Just under 45,000 visits to the BMSB pages on the Biosecurity New Zealand website.
• Extra awareness activities at international airports resulted in over 130 calls from travellers reporting suspected BMSB in luggage.
• Social media advertising, videos and posts were seen by more than 14 million people.
• Ruud ‘the Bug Man’ Kleinpaste posts and videos were the most effective social media tools.
• February recorded the highest ever number of calls to the pest hotline (323), most of which were attributed to the paid stories on two consecutive nights on the Newshub 6pm news by The Aotearoa Science Agency.
Partnerships were also a big focus of the campaign. KVH worked across the kiwifruit industry and kiwifruit growing community groups to talk about BMSB and distribute information. Some initiatives were:
• Posters, fliers, stickers, and videos shared with growers, pack-houses, transitional facilities, schools, and community groups.
• Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital focused on BMSB, especially with the large banner on the Grain Corp tanks on Hewletts Road near the Port of Tauranga.
• The Port of Tauranga Biosecurity Excellence partnership focussed on BMSB during the local biosecurity week with staff who work on and around the port. Calendars, playing cards, key rings and pest alerts were distributed.
• All Auckland International Airport staff supplied with BMSB ID lanyard cards that were worn with security cards so any hitchhiking pests could be identified in the airport environment.
Next years campaign will target the wider public again because that is what keeps resulting in high call numbers and high ‘click throughs’ to more detailed information online. Digital/online advertising will continue to be used because we know that people are watching our ads/videos through until the end and are then ringing the pest hotline or visiting official BMSB web pages. It’s also a far-reaching medium that is very cost effective.
Partnerships with the kiwifruit industry through KVH, Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital and the Port of Tauranga Excellence programme will continue as they are all working well and generate interest and calls, as well as keeping BMSB top of mind for key audiences.
The artwork and design of the BMSB campaign (the blue NZ maps) has been surveyed and found to be well liked, and results in people carrying out the desired behaviour of knowing what to look for and how to make a report. It isn’t always well recognised over the long-term though, so a revamp will be considered for the 2020/21 BMSB season.