Farmers Communication Exchange is excited about the opportunity to help California Grown build more engaged communities. Of course, the primary responsibility of the Social-Digital Media Community Manager will always be to engage consumers. We have great admiration and respect for the Influencer Program developed and managed by California Grown team. We look forward to working closely with your staff and creative teams and are committed to sharing all program elements with consumers via social media, blogs and newsletters. 

Ultimately, our vision is to engage all California Grown stakeholders so that everyone is more involved and committed to the organization’s goals.

Our Proposal: Collaboration Creates Growth

Farmers Communication Exchange can facilitate collaboration among California Grown stakeholders and assist you to more effectively communicate with all audiences.  

Board and Member Communications
One key group we hope to engage in a deeper way is the California Grown member community.  Currently, several Farmers Communication Exchange clients are members of California Grown who participate with your program on a regular basis. Often it seems we don’t fully understand all that is being done through your program. We know from experience that effective member communications can be a difficult and time-consuming task. We want to help California Grown in this area and believe this effort can be incorporated as part of our other communications activities.  

Farmers Communication Exchange will devote our staff member, Sharlene Garcia, to focus on the task of engaging Board members. Sharlene is an experienced strategist and long-time executor of marketing, communication, and coalition campaigns for clients across the United States.  For more than 15 years, Sharlene has advised state government cabinet officials, non-profit board of directors, and businesses specializing in agriculture.

Under our proposal, Sharlene would gather grower stories from the California Grown membership and work with the rest of our team to turn this information into engaging content for consumers. We believe this effort will be appreciated by the Board and membership. It demonstrates  California Grown’s interest in ensuring farmers across the state are represented in the program’s consumer outreach. 

Sharlene would also work with your staff to communicate information back to the Board and membership with the goal of providing clear, engaging communications that meet member expectations and ensure that members understand the program’s goals and accomplishments. 

We believe an association cannot be ‘too good’ at member communications. Success in this arena will result in increased member satisfaction, bring in additional funding and encourage new members to support California Grown.

“Reverse” Influencer Communications
Given the current COVID 19 restrictions, it seems obvious that travel will continue to be limited in 2021.  We know that farm tours for Influencers, which have been an important part of the California Grown program, are not likely to occur in this year’s program. That doesn’t mean there can’t be an effort to share information about California agriculture back to the Influencers who represent California Grown.

As part of our work in gathering and developing stories about California agriculture, we can assist the Influencer program by sharing these stories back to influencers currently being managed by your team. Farmers Communication Exchange is skilled at developing ‘messaging’ templates designed to provide spokespeople with consistent, credible talking points.  We believe the current CA Grown Influencer program would benefit from having this kind of information and the California Grown membership would appreciate an effort to further educate Influencers about California agriculture. 

Retail Grocery Stores and Restaurants
The Farmers Communication Exchange team is also experienced in working with social media teams at retail grocery stores and restaurants. Our creative director Joy Rust works very closely with Carolyn Becker, Merchandising Manager for the California Avocado Commission and the California Pear Advisory Board to implement social media programs that correspond with in-store ad features and promotions for California pears.  In fact, a couple years ago we were asked by Carolyn to create a video (see below) for California Grown as part of a Raley’s promotion.  We were able to quickly find this chef through connections with our client, the Olive Oil Commission of California, and then coordinated with Carolyn to develop this new content.

As part of our proposal, we would be available to work with Connie Stukenberg and your retail promotion team to engage with the social media teams at retailers and restaurants or to coordinate with the California Grocers Association on social media projects.

Regulators, Legislators and Media
At times California Grown has sought to engage with other audiences including legislators and regulators. There is always a need to educate these audiences about issues impacting California farmers;  raise awareness of the benefits of California Grown and ask our state representatives to support California farmers and consumers. Our staff can assist in this effort and is experienced in communicating with regulators and legislators. We also offer media relations services.   Because of our deep understanding of these activities, we feel strongly that we can make California Grown’s program work harder by delivering information to multiple audiences.

Bottom line — our team can raise the profile of California Grown and help you build relationships with several important audiences