California Table Grape Commission dives into social media

07/01/2013 11:41:00 AM
Mike Hornick

The California Table Grape Commission is expanding its efforts with registered dietitians, one of many marketing initiatives for this year’s crop.

Five registered dietitians from major cities each will get an advertorial in the monthly Food Network magazine. They’ll also develop recipes and videos for the Fresno-based commission’s social media sites — and their own.

“We have a registered dietitian we’ve worked with every year here at the commission, but a program dedicated to registered dietitians is new for us,” said Jeff Cardinale, vice president of communications.

The dietitians:

 Patricia Bannan, Los Angeles;

 Dawn Jackson Blatner, Chicago;

 Tara Gidus, Orlando, Fla.;

 Heather Jones, San Francisco; and

Sarah-Jane Bedwell, Nashville.

“We get a national reach with these dietitians, but they’re also very well known in their markets,” Cardinale said.

“Dawn is the team nutritionist for the Chicago Cubs. She might do something with the team or appear on local TV and mention grapes. Sarah does a weekly segment on a Nashville television station. We’re hopeful that during her weekly segments on health and nutrition, she’ll mention California grapes.”

“All are well regarded by other registered dietitians,” Cardinale said. “All are bloggers, all have their own Facebook or Pinterest sites.

"The goal is not only to tap their expertise as registered dietitians, but to tap their own media outreach.”

The magazine exposure is part of the commission’s longstanding relationship with the Food Network.

The commission also plans to use the Food Network’s television and online platforms from June through December, said Cindy Plummer, vice president of domestic marketing.

Taglines for the 2013 Food Network print and online campaigns:

 A whole bunch of healthy;

 It’s always a good time for grapes;

 One ingredient can change everything; and

 Good health, fresh off the vine.

Retail logos can be placed on Food Network ads in exchange for promotion activity, according to the commission.

Ads can be tagged by region.

Apart from Food Network, the commission offers traffic radio and in-store radio as part of a retail incentive program.

The commission also offers retailers a variety chart and training guide; a biweekly newsletter; and a monthly e-mail of recipes and photos for use on social media pages.

Its season on the nationwide Win Win Radio network started June 21.

The format offers listeners grape cookbooks and other prizes for solving quizzes.

Facebook contest

Through August, the commission is offering a $1,000 top prize for a recipe contest on Facebook, with the winner to be chosen by Food Network host and author Ellie Krieger.

The contest is dubbed, “The One Ingredient that Can Change Everything.”

Krieger will also choose the second- and third-best California grape recipes, which fetch $150 and $100 respectively.

All three prize winners get a signed copy of her book, “Comfort Food Fix.”

At summer’s end, Krieger plans a back-to-school satellite media tour with TV and radio stations plus national bloggers.

Commission joins Pinterest

It’s also the first year the California Table Grape Commission is on Pinterest. The site is http://pinterest.com/GrapesfromCA/.

“The goal is to get our message out there on as many different platforms as possible,” Cardinale said.

“Pinterest is kind of unique as a hybrid between Twitter and Facebook. It’s one of the fastest-growing social media sites. Because the focus of Pinterest is pictures, we thought it was an opportunity to really showcase grapes from California.

"Grapes photograph well, between beautiful recipes and shots from the vineyards. So far the results have been encouraging.”



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