Meat processors plan to give boost to media outreach

ARLINGTON, VA: The American Meat Institute is searching for a director of public affairs as it plans to increase its media outreach efforts across the country.

ARLINGTON, VA: The American Meat Institute is searching for a director of public affairs as it plans to increase its media outreach efforts across the country.

The institute, a trade association for US meat processors, recently increased its member dues to fund the new PR position and other initiatives. However, it currently has no plans to hire agency help, said Janet Riley, VP of public affairs.

"We will increase public affairs activity," said Riley. "We did some very successful editorial board meetings last fall, and we want to do more of that," she added.

Roughly $250,000 is being set aside for public affairs efforts, including the new PR position, with an equal amount earmarked for lobbying. Another $500,000 will be directed toward institute food-safety initiatives.

"Food safety is what we get media calls about most often," Riley explained.

Animal welfare is another key area of communications for the institute as it seeks to counter claims from animal-rights groups about mishandling and animal cruelty by the country's meat processors.

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