As marketers in the fresh produce industry, we’re in a unique position to continue pitching national, consumer media during this unprecedented time. Now more than ever, people are seeking information about healthy, immune boosting foods and searching for new tasty recipes as the ones they’ve been cooking for weeks are starting to get old. We have the opportunity, as an industry, to be the ones to pitch and elevate those ideas to meet the growing demands editors and writers are looking to deliver to their readers.
Between not wanting to seem out of touch with reality or attempting to downplay the situation, it can be intimidating continuing with pitching efforts during this time. We have some best practices to help you provide helpful, beneficial content to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables when people need it most.
Here are some things to keep in mind when pitching during a pandemic:
As the words “essential” and “non essential” have been used so often during this pandemic to refer to employees or products, we should apply it to our pitches as well.
A New York Times editor recently wrote an article shaming a publicist for pitching him latex lingerie the day nationwide quarantines were being implemented. While that pitch may not have been timely, fortunately for us in the fresh produce industry, our work and our products are essential and crucial for people’s well-being during this time. Based on our conversations with editors at magazines like Women’s Health, Food Network and EatingWell, editors are in need of our healthy snacking and recipe ideas. They’re in need of our fresh produce storage suggestions and cleaning tips and tricks. We’re fortunate enough to not only be “essential” during this time, but also helpful.
What are ways people could benefit from your products right now? If you’re feeling stumped, schedule a free communications call with us, we’re full of ideas.
While fresh produce is deemed “essential,” we need to be careful we don’t position our products in a way that is more hurtful than helpful. For example, while vegetables are helpful for people to consume right now, presenting them as the “best Memorial Day vegetables to grill for all of your guests,” isn’t the smartest choice.
This doesn’t mean scrap any Memorial Day or vegetable pitches, it just means we have to adapt. Instead of presenting meal ideas for 20+ guests, break down the dishes and present them as smaller, more intimate options. What pairs well with your product that people already have in their pantries? What bland recipe could your tasty and nutritious product spice up right now?
It’s especially crucial right now to thoroughly review your pitch before you send it out to an editor to ensure there is no offensive or off putting language. There is no need to skirt around the fact that we’re in the midst of a pandemic (especially when talking with writers in New York City). Feel free to check in on them or ask how they’re doing. Better to be overly cautious and concerned than to pretend like the problem doesn’t exist.
Thoroughly check your media list before sending your pitch. While it’s important to skim over the editor’s recent coverage, now this activity is more important than ever. If they haven’t written anything recently or are only talking about COVID-19 related news, consider holding off on your pitch for the moment. Lately we’ve found that most editors are trying to keep content as regular as possible - meaning they need your pitch and your ideas.
As editors are searching for healthy and helpful content right now, let’s rise to the occasion. Instead of feeling stuck on your media pitching right now, feel inspired that our industry is not only essential, but useful and helpful during this time. Be helpful, smart and thorough and remember your cause to elevate your product and position it as well as elevate the demand for fresh produce.
Needing some help with marketing or public relations? Request our marketing services menu to see how we could be of service to you during this time.