If you’ve been around DMA Solutions long enough, you’ll start to hear the word “sexy” being tossed around—at least pertaining to the store perimeter, anyway. Making fresh produce “sexy” to retailers, consumers and media is what we’re here to do. Talking up the industry to trade media is one thing because that’s what they’re already writing about, but it’s a whole different ballgame pitching the industry to consumer media. In our (literal and figurative) field, there aren’t always new or flashy products to pitch to consumer publications, but that doesn’t mean consumers don’t care about fresh produce—it just means that sometimes we have to get a bit more clever in how we position our products.
Here are three practical ways to elevate fresh produce through the clutter of consumer news:
Talk to the right people
One of the best ways to secure a consumer media placement is to make sure you’re pitching to the right people. Conduct research before you even craft your pitch and look at which publications already talk about fresh produce and food. Then, take it one step further and research the editors. Your pitch probably won’t make it very far if you’re sending it to the fashion editor at the publication! Instead, find editors who would actually benefit from your pitch—think food, recipe and test kitchen editors. Once you have your media list going, make sure your pitch is crafted to each specific editor. I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you that mass pitches are less successful, as much as mass emails you receive in your own inbox are more likely to be deleted. Each editor has his or her own style and column. If a certain editor writes a lot of “how-to columns,” for example, edit your pitch to easily fit into what he or she is already writing. It’s easier for fresh produce to stand out when you’re pitching to the right people.
Capitalize on trends
Has there ever been a better time to elevate fresh produce to consumer media? Probably not. Consumers care, now more than ever, about healthy eating and fresh produce options. We don’t know about you, but buzzwords like “wellness,” “plant-based,” and “eco-friendly” are flooding the articles we’ve been reading lately! This means its go-time for fresh produce pitching: editors are in need of content, and we have the solution.
Another way to capitalize on trends is to look ahead to any holidays or events consumer media may be covering. For instance, Thanksgiving is coming up and guess what people love to do on Thanksgiving…eat! Let’s pitch ways media audiences can incorporate healthy options into their Thanksgiving menu. Additionally, make it a point to research upcoming events and activities, like New Year’s resolutions or the Super Bowl, that you could capitalize on to gain coverage for fresh produce.
Dig a little deeper
What’s tricky about pitching fresh produce is that (for the most part), products don’t change as much in our field. Think about it: if media pitching as it’s known today were around a hundred years ago, we’d probably still be pitching the same products (within reason). I don’t think we can get away with emailing the New York Times asking if they’ve ever heard of, say, a tomato (although to be fair, we’ve also never tried, so…). What does that mean? PR professionals focused on fresh produce just have to dig a little deeper. Here are some questions to get you started:
- What makes your brand/product different than the next?
- What does your brand/product do that no other brand does?
- There is something special about fresh produce, a story to tell that CPG doesn't have, how can your brand tap into that?
No matter what fresh product you sell, remember that it’s special that our industry has been farming the same baseline products for sometimes 100 years—that’s a story! There is passion within our industry, our products are actually good for people, and it’s our job to share that story with consumer media. I don’t know about you, but I Iove reading a feel-good story behind a brand I know and love. Let’s share that story.
It’s time we show consumer media that fresh produce is sexy—and what better time than now? With so many people caring about wellness trends and healthier options, we’re well-poised for success. Take cauliflower for example, the product itself hasn’t changed drastically since it was first planted hundreds of years ago, but it has blown up lately in consumer media articles. People are using the veggie as crust on their pizza and in place of rice in their chicken teriyaki bowls. Why? Because someone chose to dig a little deeper—that should be a goal for all fresh produce!
Have a consumer PR tip to add? Leave us a comment below or reach out to us on Twitter @TheCoreBlog!