Corn Farmers looks to educate policymakers, improve its image

The Corn Farmers Coalition announced its launch this month, along with a campaign to change public and policymaker perception about corn and corn farmers, according to its director, Mark Lambert.

Objective: The Corn Farmers Coalition announced its launch this month, along with a campaign to change public and policymaker perception about corn and corn farmers, according to its director, Mark Lambert. The National Corn Growers Association and 11 state corn organizations began organizing the coalition late last year.

Idea: In response to the ongoing ethanol debate, the coalition's organizers hired MS&L Worldwide last fall to create an integrated public affairs campaign that would educate opinion leaders in Washington about the corn industry and improve its image. “The image of corn has, frankly, taken a hit in the last two years as part of the ethanol debate,” said Randolph Court, VP at MS&L. The coalition hopes to “insert some critical facts back into the debate,” he said, including educating policymakers about modern corn production, such as its technological advances and environmental progress.

Tools: The campaign created a Web site, cornfarmerscoalition.org, which includes an online fact book to educate its audience about modern corn farming. It also plans to reach out to national media and hold briefings for policymakers and think tanks in Washington this spring. “We're providing education at a very fundamental level,” Lambert said. “People don't think there [are] farming families anymore.”

Measurement: The team will analyze Web traffic, clips published in targeted media outlets, and attendance numbers at the briefing events to determine the campaign's success.

Company: Corn Farmers Coalition

Campaign: Launch of the Corn Farmers Coalition

PR Team: MS&L Worldwide

Launch: March 2

Budget: $1 million (PR, marketing, and advertising)

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