The following article is reproduced with permission of the author.
The Kaling of America: PR for Vegetables
There isn’t a vegetable out there that cares whether it’s popular enough to be eaten. Take kale. Lately there has been an explosion in popularity for this green leafy vegetable. This is an especially important observation because two years ago the consumption of kale was de minimus and now there are mountains of kale everywhere. Kale has become the darling of foodies and celebrity chefs, who are trading recipes across all media points. Some studies indicate kale is now on 400% more restaurant menus that it was before the green explosion. At Trader Joe’s, plastic bags of kale, organic and regular (I can’t tell them apart), vastly outnumber bags of pre-washed romaine lettuce, spinach and arugula, and the lowliest green thing of all, broccoli.
Last week, I was waiting in between meetings and staked a spot at a new healthy fast food eatery called Evolution, where I had a bowl of veggie quinoa soup that was loaded with guess what?? Kale! Soon I found myself in the middle of a marketing event where a detox outreach team showed up to promote colonic cleansing, and handed out little plastic cups of kale juice. Did you know that 1 cup of kale contains sustenance far greater than your daily requirements: 190% of Vitamin A, 90% of Vitamin C, mega doses of B6, Manganese, Calcium, Copper, and Potassium. Studies have shown that kale protects your eyes from the sun and prevents cataracts. The enzymes in kale trigger cancer fighting chemicals that eliminate unhealthy cells throughout your entire body, and when animals with tumors are given a diet of kale, their tumors shrink.
Oh my! Those clever kale PR people! Kale is much more than a vegetable; it’s the holy grail of the 21st century, the fountain of youth and the chief arbiter of world peace. These are just some of the benefits!
When even a vegetable has its own community relations outreach teams, someone has paid a mighty price for an enormous budget dedicated to a full-scale Marketing and PR outreach. Kale is easy to grow, relatively bug and disease resistant, produces a high crop yield and even does well in freezing weather. In fact, a sudden frost actually gives kale a sweeter taste. Why not create a market demand for kale? Behemoth chain grocery stores are getting a higher ROI for selling Kale than for selling other greens. Kale is not alone in its surging popularity. Remember the past campaigns for raisins, prunes and blueberries? If even vegetables need PR, then so do you. People have to create awareness for how well their services and expertise compare to what everyone else is offering. All of which begs the question: What are you doing to create your own market demand? This year, what PR strategy do you have in place for yourself?
–-by Patricia Vaccarino
Vaccarino runs PR for People which provides public relations services for individuals and companies through personal branding, reputation management and media relations. The idea of PR for People came to Patricia in the late 1990s, when she was at Publishing Online, working with individual authors. She organizes the annual Seattle Book Summit for clients and interested author to explore the new publishing scene. The 2014 Summit will take place in April.
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