At the annual Idaho Grower Shippers Association meeting held in Sun Valley in August, I had the opportunity to share the Idaho Potato Commission's (IPC) marketing plan for this new year.
The programs are results-driven and build on the success of our 2011-2012 fiscal year. Each element is strategically designed to remind consumers to always look for the famous "Grown in Idaho" seal and showcase why Idaho potatoes are different from potatoes grown elsewhere.
It's critical our programs reach those who do most of the grocery shopping-women ages 25 to 54. Not too long ago, all of our programs were geared toward this audience. Today, the landscape is much different. While women are still our primary target audience, we need to make sure we're also reaching out to men, teenagers and young adults.
How we're communicating with each group is more important now than ever. Television advertising has always been and continues to be our communication anchor; however, our public relations campaign has expanded to include the ever-changing social media landscape, numerous electronic news sources and the growing and very influential group of amateur journalists called bloggers.
We kicked off the year by bringing a group of 11 food bloggers to Idaho to let them experience the harvest first-hand and learn about all the aspects of the industry-from farming to shipping to processing. On average, each blogger wrote three major stories with multiple pictures and recipes, which they Tweeted and posted on their Facebook pages and then shared with thousands of followers and "foodies."
Visit PotatoGrower.com and click on "Extras" to visit some of the websites-"Worth the Whisk," "Average Betty" and "Scarlettabakes."
With the bloggers populating the web with news from the frontlines of the harvest, the IPC continues to engage fans and friends through Facebook and Twitter by sharing recipes, fun facts and holding promotions where consumers have a chance to win prizes like a month supply of Idaho potatoes.
We recently created a page on Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/idahopotato), the fastest-growing social media site on the web. The site, which resembles an electronic scrapbook, is now the new home of the IPC's popular "Recipe Photo Contest of Month," where folks have a chance to win $250 simply by making a select Idaho potato recipe, taking a photo of it and posting it on Pinterest.
We also gave Tater Talk, our consumer newsletter, a makeover. Bigger photos, less copy, more recipes and a cleaner, fresher look will help reinforce the IPC as the "go-to" source for everything having to do with potatoes. To subscribe to this monthly newsletter, visit