This post isn’t about a particular case.
Rather, it’s more of an observation regarding public relations.
While writing this blog, I’ve been noticing that a lot of trending stories on social media have to do with food. On any given day, there is bound to be a news article or press release about food that strikes a chord with a lot of people.
Why do you think that is?
My theory is that food is the one thing in this world that binds us together in a way that nothing else can. There’s just something about sharing a good meal with good friends and family. Food can make friends out of strangers, or it can be a private experience. Some people have a love/hate relationship with food, but it would be hard to find someone who has no emotion at all about it.
Then there’s the fact that regardless of who you are, where you live or what cultural background you have, food is one of our basic human needs. Because of that, there are a lot of expectations about what we consume.
We want food:
- that is healthy; free of contaminates
- to be given to the hungry
- that is safe
- that is cooked, prepared, packaged and transported well
- to be provided at a reasonable cost
- not to be wasted
- to be good tasting
- to support our cultural, political and religious worldviews
These are just a few; the list of what food means to people can go on and on.
Because people want all of these things from food, this is good news for public relations pros.
You’ll always find work in the food industry.
Everyday, someone in the food industry, government, or educational system needs to share some news about food.
These are just a few of today’s press releases about food:
- Contaminated food. Today’s (Apr. 6, 2016) food recall affects Texans and involves “Fresh from Texas” apple products sold in H-E-B Stores in Texas. – Source: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm494345.htm
After reading about 25 different recall press releases, I’ve discovered that the words “voluntary recall” are somewhere in the press release to show that the company who is recalling their product is looking out for the public.
- Healthy food.
Today’s example of a “good food” press release comes from the Professor Philip Calder at the University of Southampton (UK) that found that eating salmon during pregnancy may lessen the child’s risk of developing asthma.
Most of these are usually submitted by a university who is sponsoring research.
- Food safety: The FDA announced on Apr. 5 that there are new federal food transportation regulations to ensure safety. – Source http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm494125.htm
Here are a few more food related press releases
- John Hancock Insurance teams up with Chef Tom Colicchio for food dollar saving initiative.
- First Lady Michelle Obama plants her very last WH garden.
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and GMO companies are criticized for introducing GMO technology in Africa.
- Nestle’s Maggi instant noodle troubles in India continue.
There are many, many more, but you get the idea: where there is food, there is work for the PR pro.
So, if you want a job in food-related PR where can you look?
- governmental agencies
- restaurants owners
- food manufacturers, producers, growers and transporters
- scientific research firms
- food safety organizations
- food-related media organizations
- groceries and retail businesses
- advertising agencies
- not-for-profit organizations
- insurance companies, health organizations
- food-related travel and tourism agencies
- . . . basically anywhere there’s food.
It’s probably not likely that you’re only task would be to write press releases about food, but if you’re passionate about food, the food industry might just be the place for you to look for a rewarding career.
Careers In Food lists the basic tasks performed in food-related PR:
Common duties include:
- Developing programs to communicate company values and news to the public
- Responding to the complaints of environmental and other activism groups
- Managing the public opinion of a company and its brands
- Demonstrating social values by engaging company in community projects
- Developing and maintaining relationships with news stations, media companies, and bloggers
- Creating press materials
Keep in mind, your job as a PR pro for the food industry will most likely be stressful when you have to deal with social media comments. I would imagine that with all the recalls and research about what isn’t healthy, there’s a lot to deal with in food PR and knowledge of food-related legal issues.
But, hey! There’s the food, right? That makes it all worth it!
Happy job hunting!