Recognizing consumers' rising curiosity about where their food comes from, The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) wanted to be more vocal about telling consumers the beef-production story. "Other people are telling pieces of our story for us on the Internet and it's resulting in a lot of myths," said Jacque Matsen, director of issues management at the NCBA.
Idea: Matsen said launching www.beeffrompasturetoplate.org was the best way to combat this. The site will serve as a meeting place between producer and the public. It will also give visitors more insight and understanding about the product while allowing beef producers to meet and interact with customers. "[Consumers] are increasingly [moving] further away from production and living in urban centers," Matsen added. "So they are less connected than ever before with these rural people who are producing their food."
Tools: The site contains profiles of beef producers. The NCBA has also posted a number of videos on YouTube. "We are trying to take consumers to the farm as best we can," Matsen said. "You can click on a particular producer and hear about how their operation has moved through generations and the practices they employ." Visitors can also submit questions to producers. Media outreach around the launch includes an article in the direct-to-consumer e-newsletter, Beef So Simple. The NCBA will also launch a linking campaign with stakeholders (state groups and related industries), encouraging them to link to the site from their home page.
Measurement: The NCBA will gauge success by site traffic, "but we're also looking to position ourselves in search engines," Matsen said, "so when folks [go] online, they're finding this resource."
Company: National Cattlemen's Beef Association
Campaign: Launch of Beeffrompasturetoplate.org
PR team: Burson-Marsteller
Other marketing: 500 piece direct-mail campaign
Launch: October 22