Throughout the spring and summer this year, your United States Potato Board staff, contractors and Administrative Committee members conducted exhaustive surveys of the entire U.S. industry to determine what we were doing well and what we could do better. The end goal was to develop the Fiscal Year 2012-2016 USPB Long Range Plan (LRP).
In the recent Idaho Annual issue, USPB President & CEO Tim O'Connor gave a brief outline of just a few of the new Domestic Marketing & International Marketing program areas for FY12-16. This month, I would like to spend a few moments sharing how your USPB Industry Communications & Policy (ICP) team is looking ahead to FY12-16.
The mission of ICP remains simple and straightforward:
Communicate the USPB's strategies and programs in a meaningful way to the entire industry;
Communicate the USPB's role in increasing demand for potatoes and potato products and supporting the industry;
Communicate the grower's ROI from USPB programs and how to utilize the USPB's programs and strategies in their own businesses.
We are pleased to report 92 percent of respondents felt they are adequately informed about the programs of the USPB to build long-term demand for potatoes and potato products.
While we could not be more pleased with this result, there were still a number of things the industry told us we could do better. Since there is no rule that says we have to wait until the beginning of the new LRP-July 1, 2011-to implement the many industry suggestions, we are doing what we do, better-now.
1) www.uspotatoes.com-October 4 saw the official launch of the new
www.uspotatoes.com. Nearly two years under construction, this complete graphic, navigation and functional overhaul of the USPB's Industry Website will only strengthen what our ongoing data analysis tells us quarter after quarter: the U.S. industry members and those seeking information about U.S. potatoes come to www.uspotatoes.com. If you have a website for your company, we would be most appreciative if you would add links to:
USPB Industry website (www.uspotatoes.com);
USPB Consumer website (www.potatogoodness.com);
USPB International Marketing website (www.potatoesusa.com); .to your website, delivering even more industry resources to your customers. Of course, you are always welcome to use any information from any of the USPB sites on your own site. Crediting the USPB is always very much appreciated.
2) Industry Update-Effective with the October 20 issue, our bi-weekly e-newsletter-the industry's source of the most current program activities and successes of the USPB-we made what the industry told us was a very good newsletter even better. Designed to fit on your computer screen with very minimal scrolling, this new "headline" format now groups stories more clearly by production sector, allowing you to instantly see all the story headlines relevant to your individual business, while also getting a quick glance at those stories making "headlines" in the other production sectors-on the off chance you want to know what's going on across the industry.
3) U.S. Potato Update-Debuting Wednesday, July 7, and airing within the popular "Farm & Ranch Report," produced by the Northwest Ag Information Network's Bob Hoff, and broadcast every Wednesday on 29 stations throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho, "U.S. Potato Update" now reaches the estimated 450,000-plus potato acres in the Pacific Northwest. Don't farm potatoes in Washington, Oregon or Idaho? No problem! Since the programs are not written just for the Pacific Northwest, simply visit www.uspotatoes.com/pressRoom/mediaGallery.php to hear every "U.S. Potato Update" aired. The transcript of the program is even posted right there below the link to the audio file. Did we not tell you www.uspotatoes.com is the U.S. industry's online resource?
So, while the midsummer heat of July 1 and the launch of the USPB's FY12-16 LRP is still six months away, your USPB Industry Communications & Policy Team is doing what we do, better-now.