021 CASE STUDY: How to leverage organic social media & community outreach to build a thriving brand - with Sallie Jones, Gippsland Jersey

021 CASE STUDY: How to leverage organic social media & community outreach to build a thriving brand - with Sallie Jones, Gippsland Jersey

This episode is kind of like a double whammy! I'm chatting with Sallie Jones, the co-founder of a thriving start-up milk brand, Gippsland Jersey.

Firstly, Sallie openly shares the story behind Gippsland Jersey, and how she's been profoundly influenced by her father’s legacy in the dairy industry and his personal battle with depression

This dual inspiration set Sallie and her business partner, Steve Ronalds, on a path of establishing Gippsland Jersey amidst a tumultuous dairy crisis in Australia.

From the get-go the business emphasised not just the production of quality milk, but also the fair treatment and mental well-being of the farmers behind it. The inception of Gippsland Jersey was marked by a wave of community support, propelling the brand forward despite initial doubts from larger competitors.

Sallie's story is a good one and the origins of the brand dovetail nicely into how the business has marketed itself. Take note of how the founders have stayed true to their purpose, and the power that comes with that in terms of PR and marketing communications.

Secondly, Sallie unpacks how she leverages the power of social media and community outreach to draw attention to the brand and deepen connection with its customers. Classic modern-day PR!

Then, the kicker! Sallie has amassed heaps of media exposure over the years - she estimates over 1000 items of coverage! - which has really helped propel Gippsland Jersey into mainstream consumer arena. Not bad for a bootstrapped boutique milk brand!

Indeed, as I write this, just this morning Sallie was interviewed on a national Australian current affairs TV show; this was on top of other media interviews she participated in the day before. I recorded a special 'pre-introduction' introduction at the start of the episode to cover off this topic.

Sallie also openly discusses her organic content strategy on social media, including her approach to posting, content themes, and the importance of authenticity in her social media presence.

If you're a business owner (it doesn't matter what industry), I'm confident you'll get a lot of inspiration and actionable ideas around social media, content creation and media relations from listening to this interview with Sallie Jones.


00:00 Introducing Sallie Jones: The Milk Brand Entrepreneur
Sallie shares her journey from a dairy farm in Gippsland to becoming a milk brand entrepreneur, highlighting her passion for connecting with people and building relationships to grow her brand organically.

03:22 Transition to Entrepreneurship
After leaving her PR agency job in Melbourne, Sallie shares how she ventured into the dairy industry to support her family, leading to the inception of her milk brand and the pivotal role of media exposure in her journey.

07:04 Life Changes and New Beginnings
Sallie recounts her diverse experiences, from marketing in the snow to starting a farmers market, showcasing her adaptability and community-driven initiatives before her return to dairy entrepreneurship.

16:01 Launching Gippsland Jersey
Discover the exhilarating journey of launching Gippsland Jersey milk brand, from the initial concept to the overwhelming response at the farmers market, emphasizing the power of organic content and community support.

23:18 Building Brand Awareness and Affinity
Explore Sallie’s approach to PR, communications, and content creation, focusing on storytelling and media coverage to establish brand affinity and resonate with consumers, highlighting the importance of crafting a compelling narrative.

29:40 Authentic Social Media Strategy
Sallie discusses her organic content strategy on social media, including her approach to posting, content themes, and the importance of authenticity in her social media presence.

31:23 Old-School Marketing Tactics
Sallie shares insights into the effectiveness of old-school marketing tactics like milkshake caravans and personal interactions in supermarkets, emphasising the value of in-person engagement for brand building.

32:50 Balancing Authenticity and Promotion
The discussion delves into Sallie’s approach to promotional content, highlighting the balance between storytelling and promotion in maintaining brand authenticity and customer engagement.

37:01 Community Engagement and Brand Storytelling
Sallie elaborates on the importance of community engagement and spotlighting farmers in brand storytelling, showcasing how these elements contribute to building brand affinity and customer loyalty.

40:28 Media Relations and Brand Building
Insights are shared on leveraging media coverage for brand building, emphasising the value of relationships, trust, and authenticity in media interactions to enhance brand visibility and credibility.

46:23 Embracing Authenticity in Business
Sallie provides tips for business owners on embracing authenticity in their brand storytelling, social media presence, and media interactions, highlighting the importance of being genuine and aligning personal values with the brand.


  1. “The entrepreneurial spirit I inherited from my father, coupled with his struggle with depression, fuels my mission to support rural mental health.”
  2. “Our success story started with direct sales on Facebook, proving that authentic storytelling can resonate deeply with people.”
  3. “In public relations, it’s not just about media coverage; it’s about building real relationships and creating genuine content that connects with people.”
  4. “I’ve got content coming out of my ears. I can make a story out of a conversation.”
  5. “Featuring farmers and community members in our storytelling has been key to maintaining a personal and impactful brand presence.”
  6. “Effective marketing isn’t just about selling a product; it’s about sharing the real stories behind it and engaging with customers on a personal level.”


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I help business owners become clear and confident in how they leverage PR, content and digital communications to build their brand and grow revenue. Contact me through my website, let's have a chat, no obligation whatsoever!

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