The Center for Food Safety is a non-profit, public interest, and environmental advocacy organization with the goal of curtailing environmentally harmful industrial agricultural production methods and promoting sustainable alternatives. The organization wanted to introduce a national campaign promoting sustainable agriculture and turned to Straus Communications to help set the stage for a successful launch.
Straus would focus media attention around the book Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture, a volume featuring a compilation of stunning images and thought provoking essays from well-known authors and environmental advocates on the pitfalls and negative effects of modern day agricultural practices. The challenge was to take this expensive manifesto, which had relatively limited distribution, and draw national attention to the important and timely issues addressed within.
We set out to coordinate several members of the campaign, including three public relations firms, and create a communications plan for internal and external audiences. Our strategy included targeting book review editors, and publications specializing in food, environmental and agricultural issues. With essays and photos that were compelling, yet hinging upon complex issues, Straus distilled the key messages and language for each, developed a full set of press materials, planned and organized a regional press launch event, and set up interviews with scores of journalists and editors.
Straus Communications generated more than 35 million media impressions, including placements in Saveur, Gourmet, Natural Home, Sierra, Mothering Magazine, Ecologist, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, KQED’s Forum, ENN.com, and the Marin Independent Journal. We also cemented connections with senior editors at Time and bureau chiefs at the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, CBS Evening News, and the Economist, resulting in subsequent coverage of sustainable agricultural stories. Our press outreach created a ripple effect, in which journalists who had previously not been exposed to issues of industrial and sustainable agriculture began to explore additional stories on these themes, resulting in features in the San Francisco Chronicle and CBS Evening News.