For all of our clients, Farmers Communication Exchange is focused on developing strategic communications that deliver on the organization’s primary objectives.  Blogs are an important tool we use to help our clients  communicate strategic messaging to their target audiences. 

The Farmers Communication Exchange team is well-versed in blog writing.  In all cases, the blogs we create are designed as part of an overarching communications strategy. We use blogs to share news, discuss important issues, tell stories, grow the community or drive product sales through recipes and usage ideas.

Our Proposal: Strategic Communications Deliver Results

The value of the CA Grown blog is evident. Each weekly post shares a great recipe, usage idea or introduces us to a California farmer. We are proposing additional types of content that would continue to deliver on the campaign’s strategic objectives.  This new content will add to the program effectiveness while also meeting the needs of your grower members.

Telling the CA Grown Story
So many wonderful stories exist throughout California agriculture and these need to be told.  We propose mixing up the blog content with stories about California farmers from throughout the state. Working with the CA Grown Board, stories of farmers would be regularly featured in blog content.  As part of these authentic stories, we would plan to highlight real examples of the role of California farmers in protecting the environment, reducing the impacts of climate change and ensuring a safe working atmosphere for their essential employees. This kind of content was introduced by CA Grown as part of ‘California Farmer and Farmworker’ month. And we think this concept is on the right track. 

52 Weeks of Blogs
Our proposal for the CA Grown blog is to devote half of the 52 blog posts per year to stories about farmers from throughout the state. Farmers Communication Exchange staff would write 26 ‘farmer story’ blog posts over the course of the year working closely with members of CA Grown and its Board to determine which stories should be shared. This will ensure the blog content is varied and that CA Grown members feel more engaged. 

These stories will highlight California farmers, their families and the unique, authentic stories about how they are growing food for the world. Each blog post would also include a recipe or craft — there is much of this content available in your archives or through the Influencer program.  But the piece will communicate more than just a new idea —  it will also communicate the stories behind products and offer reasons to seek out California Grown.     

For the remaining 26 blog posts, we propose securing two different kinds of  guest bloggers. One guest blogger (or bloggers) would be devoted to creating 13 blogs on unique recipes or projects using California products, plants or flowers.  The blog would share tips and tricks or ‘how-to’ videos for making the recipe or project as part of each blog post. The featured blogger (or bloggers) could be selecting from your Influencer list or we could search out a new blogger and work with your staff to select one.

The second guest blogger would be carefully selected as a credible source on environmental and social issues. This blogger would develop 13 blog posts highlighting how California agriculture is working to protect the environment and reduce the impacts farming has on climate change. The blogger would also highlight California regulations that require California farmers to take steps to protect the environment and the public that go beyond what other farmers throughout the world are doing. 

Addressing Climate Change
While climate change and social responsibility have not previously been the focus of the CA Grown blog, we feel strongly this is an important topic for California farmers and consumers. Government administrations at both the federal and state levels are increasingly focused on addressing climate change. This topic is also vastly popular among younger consumers.  According to this article from YPulse, in January of this year global warming/climate change was the top cause that Gen Z consumers said they were passionate about, and it was a top 10 cause for Millennials as well. Impacts from the pandemic have not changed this view. Even more importantly, consider this statement from the article:

‘Climate change is also impacting the way younger consumer think about everyday purchases and actions: 67% said they had already changed some kind of behavior because of climate change. Purchasing behaviors were the most commonly impacted shift, with 42% reporting that they had changed the kinds of products the buy because of climate change and 29% saying they had changed the amount of products they buy.’

California agriculture leads the world in sustainable farming — but this story is just not being told. We believe it’s time and our firm is uniquely qualified to turn this information into engaging consumer content.  We’d like to start introducing this concept as part of the CA Grown blog.  

More Ways to Share Your Blog
When it comes to disseminating the blog posts through e-newsletters, we also propose a strategy to leverage the power of your blog content.  Instead of just pushing information out to one big email list, we propose segmenting your lists to provide more strategic messaging to other target audiences. This is a relatively simple task that requires slightly different newsletters targeting each audience. The goal is to better engage your various stakeholder audiences and highlight the work of CA Grown to each segment. We would also plan to target social media channels serving each audience and encourage them to repost and share information from your blogs with their audiences.

For California Grown, we propose segmenting the newsletter lists as follows:  

Consumer Subscribers.  We assume the current CA Grown email list is focused on consumer subscribers. This list would remain as is and would continue to be used to deliver blog content directly to consumers on a weekly basis.

Media. Information from blogs would also be regularly shared with reporters and news outlets in an effort to encourage additional media coverage and reposting of CA Grown blog content. Reporters and media outlets would be encouraged to do their own coverage of the stories we plan to share as part of the CA Grown blog — particularly those about climate change. In our e-newsletter to this audience we would offer story ideas, contact information for growers, commodity groups or associations who can provide additional information. This effort could be part of an overarching media outreach campaign designed to generate positive media stories or manage issues on behalf of California agriculture. 

California Grown Retailers and Restaurants. Blog content will be shared with this audience to educate them and encourage purchase of California Grown products just as you already do with consumers, but with a slightly different language that relates to grocery and restaurant buyers. The newsletter would also provide ideas for how California Grown blog content could be used in their own marketing channels and shared with their customer base of shoppers and diners.

California Grown Members.  We propose developing an e-newsletter targeted at California Grown members and the California farming industry. This list would receive information about the current blog content, but would also get information about why the blog content is being shared with consumers and a bit about the strategic objective of the outreach. The purpose of this newsletter is to keep members informed about all California Grown is doing to communicate with consumers on their behalf and to encourage support of California Grown throughout the industry.