CHICAGO: The Beef Checkoff Program, a government-mandated program for the beef industry, plans to launch a video-based campaign to show US consumers how their beef is produced. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), which represents America's cattle industry and is a beef checkoff contractor, is working on the campaign with GolinHarris, which it hired in February 2008 as its first agency focused primarily on safety and environmental PR.*
Golin will work with the NCBA on the campaign, funded by beef producers, to create videos talking about day-to-day operations of beef producers, "giving consumers a chance to look behind the curtain, see how cattle are raised and fed, and how beef is basically grown in this country,” said Kim Essex, SVP of marketing and communications for the NCBA.
Golin's Chicago office is handling the account. Financial details were not disclosed.
Scott Farrell, EVP and MD of Golin's Chicago Office said the agency would support NCBA on the issues side as part of an effort "from pasture to plate." It will include efforts in the sustainability space to promote cattle and beef producing as a sustainable practice.
"We needed a firm to partner with us to focus on the proactive opportunities to tell consumers about what our industry is doing to make the beef supply safe, how our cattle producers protect and create great habitats for wildlife, and the environment overall," Essex said.
Seven PR firms submitted proposals for the NCBA account after an RFP went out in January, and five firms presented to the association.
The NCBA works with several agencies for different aspects of PR work, including DeVries for food communications, Edelman for nutrition and some online, and Burson-Marsteller for media counseling and training. GolinHarris' hiring comes after the largest beef recall in US history, but Essex said the organization was already in the midst of the RFP process when the news broke.
"Actually both Burson and Golin provided counsel on that work," Essex said. "We basically tap our agencies based on the expertise they have."
The NCBA is also working with Golin on the consumer "Safe and Savory at 160" campaign with BBQ chef Steven Raichlen to deliver tips for cooking beef safely, which launched in May.
*CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to “Beef Checkoff” as the name of the campaign, rather than the name of the group working with NCBA and Golin on the video-based campaign plan. We regret the error.