Project 2.1.2

Communication and awareness-raising activities

Project summary

For the Australian grape and wine community to achieve the greatest possible benefit from its investments in research, development and extension, it is essential that research outputs and relevant technical advice are regularly communicated in formats designed for easy understanding and rapid adoption. This project develops new content and manages the delivery of information and knowledge to Australian grape and wine producers via a large range of electronic and hard copy publications, such as the AWRI website, industry journals, the AWRI Annual Report, AWRI Technical Review, electronic newsletters and social media.

Project summary

AWRI website
The AWRI website is a major platform for communicating with grape and wine producers, students, potential employees and the general public. More than 172,950 visitors accessed the AWRI website during the year (a 14.5% increase from 2018/2019), with more than 606,261 page-views. Of the total page-views, 33% were viewed using a mobile device or tablet. Updates to content included extensive information on bushfires and smoke taint, information on COVID-19, a new section on wine packaging, new and updated fact sheets and research updates on projects conducted under the AWRI’s 2017-2025 RD&E plan. The website was also used to communicate with levy payers about the AWRI Board election and to promote events including seminars, workshops, tastings and webinars.

eBulletins and eNews
Twenty-three eBulletins were delivered to approximately 3,300 subscribers during the year (Table 1).

Four issues of the AWRI’s electronic newsletter, eNews, were distributed to an audience of more than 3,640 subscribers. This publication provides information about upcoming events, new information resources, research updates and a general snapshot of the AWRI’s activities.

Social media
The AWRI’s Twitter following grew by more than 300 during 2019/2020 to reach 3,840. The AWRI’s Facebook presence also grew by almost 250 likes during the year to reach 1,498. The AWRI’s YouTube channel includes AWRI webinar recordings and other AWRI video content. Subscribers grew by 449 during 2019/2020 to a total of 1,042 and the channel attracted more than 19,400 views, more than double the previous year.

Video content
A pilot project was conducted during the year to assess the resources required to produce video content for AWRI extension platforms. Eight videos were produced in conjunction with an external videographer, as test cases to evaluate staff time requirements and costs for filming and post-production. The videos covered a laboratory method (SO2 analysis), helpdesk advice on isolating and identifying deposits in wine, and a viticultural practice (pruning). To date the videos have been promoted via AWRI outlets including eNews, social media and webinars, and by peak bodies including Australian Grape & Wine and the Wine Grape Council of SA

Annual report
For the past 65 years, the AWRI has produced a printed annual report as its formal report to Australian winemakers and grapegrowers. Since 1999, the annual reports have also been made available on the AWRI’s website. The AWRI publishes a summary of the annual report in the Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker and offers to deliver an annual presentation to the board or executive of each major state-based winemaking body. This formal activity complements the wide range of other extension and communication activities undertaken by AWRI staff members throughout the year.

Technical Review
The AWRI’s bi-monthly publication, Technical Review, publishes abstracts of recently published grape and wine science literature and technical articles authored by AWRI staff. Technical Review is available to grape and wine producers via the AWRI website or a small number of hard copies. A total of 942 articles featured in the Technical Review Current Literature section were requested by and provided to readers during the year.

Editorial support
The AWRI contributes regular articles to Wine & Viticulture Journal and Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, while also contributing to other Australian and international industry journals.

Media liaison
The AWRI is regularly approached by national and international media for comment on technical issues related to wine. Eight media releases were prepared and distributed and 39 requests from the media were handled during the year.