Partners in Food Solutions taps Exponent PR

Partners in Food Solutions, a nonprofit founded by General Mills, has selected Exponent as its first PR agency.

MINNEAPOLIS: Nonprofit Partners in Food Solutions, which was founded by General Mills, has selected Exponent as its PR agency partner following a review.

The organization, which leverages the expertise of volunteers from General Mills, Cargill, Royal DSM, and Bühler to grow food processing networks in Africa, had not previously worked with an agency partner, said Susan Langer, VP of marketing and development at the nonprofit.

She said the organization's communications work was previously handled in-house, with help from the corporate communications teams of its partners.

Six agencies competed in the RFP, added Langer. Exponent won because of its strong critical-thinking skills and grasp of the organization and its goals, she said.

Exponent, with a core team of five staffers on the account, is tasked with building the visibility and reputation of Partners in Food Solutions and explaining its story and mission in a meaningful way to others, said Tom Lindell, MD of the firm.

In addition to national and global media outreach, Exponent will help with social media activities, employee relations with partner corporations, and engagement with global thought leaders.

Langer said PR is a “critical component” of the organization's efforts to raise awareness of its work and solutions for global food-security issues.

Social media will be a bigger focus area going forward, both internally at the nonprofit and externally, she added.

The contract will run for 18 months. Budget information was not disclosed.

As of the end of last month, Partners in Food Solutions had a team of more than 500 volunteers from its corporate allies that works with 400-plus food companies in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia. The volunteers, which include food technologists, nutritionists, marketers, and engineers, use e-mail, Skype, and other platforms to engage with and offer insights to businesses in Africa.

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