Hormel boosts comms as it debuts Web sites

AUSTIN, MN: Hormel Foods Corp. is supporting the launch of its new corporate and recipe Web sites with a significant PR campaign targeting consumers, stakeholders, social-media sites, and bloggers.

AUSTIN, MN: Hormel Foods Corp. is supporting the launch of its new corporate and recipe Web sites with a significant PR campaign targeting consumers, stakeholders, social-media sites, and bloggers.

The sites - HormelFoods.com and HormelFoodsRecipes.com - were launched in late October.

Julie Craven, VP of corporate communications at Hormel, said the consumer-branded meat and food products manufacturer will use a number of vehicles in its efforts to drive people to the sites, including packaging, investor communications, executive speaking activities, and its CSR report.

"It's going to touch everything coming out of this department," Craven said. "Our director of sustainability is already pointing people toward the site in the speaking engagements he has with the media and consumers."

Erin Byrne, chief digital strategist at Burson-Marsteller, Hormel's AOR, said the online PR push component will start in a few weeks.

"As we add things to the site, we're going to do a lot of search marketing activity," Byrne said. "[We'll do] some social-media stuff and create YouTube profiles so that we can put our content out there in order to generate interest for consumers to come and find the site on their own. And we will be speaking to food bloggers, as well."

Craven said the corporate site HormelFoods.com is a reflection of a "new" Hormel.

"We have a lot of new brand initiatives and a new CEO, Jeffrey Ettinger, with an aggressive growth strategy," she said.

HormelFoodsRecipes.com will feature a recipe search, as well as viral video vignettes, which at first will be created by Hormel.

The site may eventually include other new-media vehicles, including consumer-generated videos and podcasts, Craven noted.

"We have a line of marketing folks with ideas on podcasts, videos, and other vehicles they'd like to start integrating," she said.

Craven said the recipe site is integrated with the corporate site in an effort to drive product and cross-category awareness.

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