Just as the overall marketing landscape is ever-changing, public relations tactics and practices are too. The shift away from traditional public relations strategies continues to result in creating experiences that are much more engaging for media professionals than the everyday press release or pitch. This is not to say that written efforts are any less important, of course, but when it comes to catching the attention of an editor or consumer, it’s imperative that fresh produce marketers think outside the box in order to make a lasting impression.
As fresh produce publicists and advocates, this can be something of a challenge, especially because we deal with fresh yet perishable food. Thankfully, we’ve found some creative new ways to get our brands’ names into the hands of the media—literally. Whether you’re targeting an editor to write about the health benefits of celery or an influencer you’d like to encourage their fans to buy a specific berry, it can do wonders for your brand to make the switch from solely pitching to a strategy we refer to as “surprise and delight,” using unique mailers.
Creative Ways to Stand Out to the Media
Though many CPG brands have been sending media mailers out for some time now, the concept is not a widespread or common practice in the fresh produce industry. Usually when there is a product launch, a brand will send the new product as a gift to media members in hopes of piquing their interest and getting some coverage as a result. Unfortunately, we do not always have the luxury of sending product since our clients work with fresh fruit and vegetables…and no one wants a box of spoiled food. Thus, we have to get creative and think of different ways to elevate our produce—think branded swag items, custom cocktail kits, and more!
The truth of the matter is, we work in a commodity-centric industry, and editors may not understand the differences between one brand of apples and another, so mailers can be a way to bridge the gap and explain that not all produce brands are the same. Our efforts here not only increase awareness for our brand, but also educate the media—and downstream, consumers—on what we have to offer in a unique and fun way.
Similar to media mailers, influencer boxes are sent with the hope that some social coverage will come from it. Typically, when an influencer receives a box and it’s done right (but that “how-to” is for another Core post), they will post an “unboxing” video on their social channels, which in turn earns the brand additional impressions from an audience that they may not typically touch.
We utilize our influencer partners to influence their fans by embracing a product or brand they believe in. It is our firm belief that you have to choose the right influencers in order to authentically show how your brand and products can fit into everyday life for people who embrace compatible lifestyles and similar values (luckily, everyone has to eat, so we do have an advantage here!). With the right influencer partnership, people’s trust for that particular influencer can eventually become trust for the brand, too.
Whether you are putting together a specific campaign or are simply looking to increase your brand’s following, the “surprise and delight” strategy is an effective way to go above and beyond a press release or pitch. You’ll also be building and nurturing relationships with the media and consumers alike all along the way, so remember to think outside the box—and of course make it fun!
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