Good morning. Today we will be discussing the topic of membership into the Chicory Association of Great Britain (CAGB). It has come to the attention of Sunshine PR that everyone serving on the CAGB committee has a farming background. Thus, each of you should realize that anyone desiring to join the CAGB must be given simple, yet detailed information. With that being said, Sunshine PR perceives membership into the CAGB as an opportunity for farmers to expand into large retail chains in the local area. Right now, these retail chains are dependent upon imported exotic vegetables.
Yet, Sunshine PR has realized that local independent farmers can provide fresh vegetables that are home-grown to these businesses. Therefore, the company would like to brief you on the benefits of independent farmers acquiring membership you’re your establishment. While there is a budget of only ℓ50,000 for a national PR campaign, Sunshine PR feels the money can be stretched. One way of doing so is to get local celebrities, rock stars, supermodels, and other professionals that are highly esteemed in the public’s eye to donate their time and efforts for this cause. Thus, the purpose of this presentation is to detail a PR campaign for the CAGB to acquire members who can provide fresh, home-grown vegetables to local UK retailers.
First, we begin with a brief outline of what will be addressed throughout this presentation. Sunshine PR will look at the Situation, Step-by-Step approach, Objectives, Message Strategies, Target Strategies, Implementation, and Evaluation. These items will be defined as this presentation continues. Sunshine PR will also discuss the various Stakeholders available. Therefore, this presentation will answer the following questions:
- Project management
- Where are we now?
- Where do we want to be?
- What are we doing to get there?
- Who do we need to talk to?
- How will we know we’ve arrived?
- Practicalities. This means the physical constraints, the facts, and the feasibility of this project.
Therefore, we can now begin.
- Project management
Sunshine PR has been given this opportunity to run a PR campaign for CAGB. Our company is very thankful for this opportunity. Sunshine PR has been in business for many years. As a result, we have helped a variety of clients from a diverse background. However, Sunshine PR would like to benefit CAGB by helping the association raise awareness in regards to the importance of chicory in this area. Sunshine PR understands that the budget is only ℓ50,000. Yet, we believe this amount is durable to get the point across. Therefore, the Situation being looked at is one in which local farmers need the opportunity to sell home-grown vegetables to local markets. By doing so, money remains at home versus the current situation of local retailers importing vegetables and thus, spending money elsewhere.
- Where are we now?
By money being spent elsewhere, our economy is losing opportunities to expand. Therefore, the CAGB needs to raise awareness about the benefits of local independent farmers becoming a CAGB member. Yet, membership should come with the understanding that ‘chicory is a bushy perennial herb with blue or lavender flowers’. It can be used in salads, as a coffee substitute, as a sweetener. Chicory can also be put in yogurt.
[Picture of chicory taken from Microsoft clipart]
Thus, the opportunities for making profits in providing chicory to local retailers are endless. Consequently, Sunshine PR has come up with membership packages suitable for experienced, upcoming, and future independent British farmers that the CAGB can offer its members. These packages come in six levels of membership, similar to those packages found at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations website. These memberships include the following:
- Member MCAGB. This package offers several possibilities into full membership with the CAGB.
- Associate ACAGB. This package is open to those farmers with at least 3 years of farming experience or a CAGB approved qualification.
- Affiliate. This package is open to those farmers with lesser than 3 years of farming experience or those who are working in a related industry.
- Student. This package is open to those studying a CAGB approved qualification.
- Affiliate Studying. This package is open to those studying a farming qualification that is not CAGB approved.
- Fellow FCAGB. This package is awarded to those farmers who have made an outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom.
This brings us to the Step-by-Step approach. It answers the next question.
- Where do we want to be?
With this PR campaign, the CAGB wants to be in the driver’s seat. This means that all farmers joining the CAGB will come on-board with the idea in mind of returning profits back to the local community. In order for this step to be successful we need to:
In order for the CAGB to get anywhere, it must first (a) Inform the general public of what the association is all about. Thus, the CAGB will be making the general public aware that the association plans to help local farmers deliver fresh, home-grown vegetables (in particular, chicory) to local retailers. In this approach, some of the local celebrities can be seen in a commercial drinking a cup of coffee that is made from home-grown chicory.
Next, CAGB needs to (b) Address. In this step, the general public should be made aware of all the jobs being lost by local retailers importing vegetables. By putting even one farmer out of business, that means plenty of local residents (who work on these farms) being put out of work. Not only that, it extracts from the distribution channels in which the vegetables can be delivered. For example, local distributors do not have to go overseas to pick the vegetables up. Also, the chances of the money being made from the sell and/or purchase of local products actually being spent locally increases.
Third, the CAGB should (c) Evaluate. In this step, an Evaluation of all the costs to the CAGB, its members, and the retailers should be examined. Costs to the CAGB have already been predetermined as ℓ50,000 to run the PR campaign. However, the CAGB should note that hidden costs may exist as well. Hidden costs are those costs associated with something going wrong or an unpredictable event occurring. This means it is possible for costs to exceed ℓ50,000.
As a result, Sunshine PR will leave between ℓ5,000 to ℓ10,000 to account for potential costs beyond our control in the Miscellaneous Section of the budget. Thus, Market Research will play a key role in the implementation of this PR campaign. In order to find out who is interested in buying fresh vegetables, we need to probably pay consumers to take surveys. Not only that, we can find out what types of vegetables local retail chains want to sell by interviewing them. Information about Market Research possibilities can be found at the Communication Research website.
Fourth, after the full details of the budget have been decided (and Market Research has been analyzed), our company must get with the CAGB to discuss how to (d) Implement. In this stage, we must decide who will be a part of this campaign, all the types of media to use, who the target audience will be, when the project will begin, and how much to charge the farmers who decide to join one of the various levels of memberships. Of course, all of these things can be decided upon the acceptance of this proposal from Sunshine PR by the CAGB committee. Consequently, we can go to the next question.
- What are we doing to get there?
In order to get to the point where our local farmers are servicing the local retailers with fresh vegetables, the CAGB must first make the local farmers aware of its organization. Some of the ways to accomplish this goal include:
- Establishing public relations as a critical component of [CAGB] organizational success;
- Empowering current and future public relations professionals who represent a broad spectrum of diversity…
- Building a community of leaders to serve the profession [CAGB members] and the Society [United Kingdom]; and
- Enhancing universal understanding [in particular, the United Kingdom areas] of, and appreciation for, the power and value of public relations, while adhering to the highest standards of ethics and excellence.
As a result, some Objectives are needed. These objectives help us to understand the next question.
- Who do we need to talk to?
The CAGB needs to talk to farmers. In addition to farmers, the CAGB needs to talk with local retailers, the general public, the media, banks, and so forth. Therefore, one of the main objectives is to determine who all the Stakeholders (as those just mentioned) are. As a result, the Stakeholders need to be broken down into manageable components.
[Picture of farmer extracted from Microsoft Clipart]
Thus, Sunshine PR has listed the Stakeholders into five parts:
- Public. The public includes the media and local community.
- Overseas. In the overseas part, we need to find out who the local retailers are importing to and then determine how we can undercut the prices the local retailers are paying for imported vegetables.
- Financial. In this section, we need to decide how the farmers who join the CAGB will be helped from a financial standpoint. Maybe set up partnerships with local banks for those farmers who become CAGB members is a good start.
- Government. Here, we want to inform our government of what is going on. Perhaps the government wants to get involved because by business staying at home, more money becomes available for taxation purposes as well.
- Commercial. In this section, we want to decide who the suppliers of the products will be, the wholesalers that exist, and the retailers available for this opportunity. No medium should be left unturned.
- Internal. In this section, we need to get CAGB members on board, management needs to be kept current on what is going on, and if any unions exist for the farmers, then we need to make sure the independent contracts are signed between the farmer and the local retailer so all details of what is to occur are known. In this manner, no surprises that will incur extra costs can result from a retailer telling a farmer they did not deliver all that was expected or from a farmer telling a retailer that they cheated them out of some money.
This brings us to the next question.
- How will we know we’ve arrived?
Well, we will know this from our Message Strategies and Targeting Strategies. First, we need to have two Message Strategies: (a) One is to understand that by local farmers selling chicory to local retailers, the partnerships will lead to more jobs and a better economy in the UK and (b) The other is to know that the PR campaign will raise total awareness of the fact that the CAGB will help independent farmers acquire business with local retail chains providing that the farmers choose to become a CAGB member.
Moreover, the PR campaign will help the general public to understand what the CAGB is and who the CAGB can help. In this aspect, the Targeting Strategy includes (a) Consumers—in this case the Consumers are the general public, the Suppliers are the farmers, and the Distributors are the local retail chains. In addition, (b) the Targeting Strategy includes the Media. Who is the media? Well, the media includes local television stations, newspapers, radio stations, billboards, and other methods of advertisements.
Therefore, the Consumers should know that the products sold at local food retail chains will be fresh and home grown. Furthermore, the Media should know that the CAGB is trying to help farmers stay in business, local retail chains sell fresh products, and consumers eat fresh and healthy goods that come from home-grown vegetables. In a matter of speaking, this means CAGB will be helping those at home help themselves.
Significantly, CAGB can align its Strategies with Target Public Relations’ Objectives as presented by PRCA.
Target’s PR programme for SMEs had a number of defined objectives:
To sustain media coverage and Powergen’s reputation for ‘energy expertise’ amongst SMEs throughout the year—including during the summer period, when warm, sunny days mean the issue of energy consumption at work is of much less interest to both journalism and SMEs.
To build a relationship between Powergen and SMEs, capitalizing on the fact that no other energy supplier is talking directly to them.
To broaden the perception of energy to include ‘personal energy’ and positivity in line with Powergen’s overall brand objectives, led by the irreverent ‘Bob’ advertisements starring comedian Simon Day.
This brings us to possible practicalities or constraints. As a result, we need to discuss them.
One of the main constraints is how to regain the business that has already been lost to companies exporting vegetables to the United Kingdom. Within this constraint is the fact that comments often influence decisions. Therefore, what we say throughout this PR campaign will be under a microscope. In simple terms, this means we will be quoted. This issue was discussed in an article presented at the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) website. In the article, Paine discussed,
In the media and in most news groups, the vast majority of what is said about a particular organization is neutral. But the unfettered and unfiltered nature of the blogosphere [media] brings more opinions and frequently more negative opinions. Remember to step back as far as you can and remain objective. Think like your target audience. Just because someone leaked a piece of information or got a name wrong is not reason to respond or get involved in a discussion.
Yet, as mentioned earlier in this presentation, ℓ50,000 is not much. Therefore, limited funding is another practicality. Still, a third practicality is getting independent farmers to realize that CAGB membership is important to them achieving a sustainable competitive future. However, it is important to know that this PR campaign may not be enough. Overbury wrote, ‘For many PR agencies and departments, the place they will look for that expertise and new media familiarity will be those just joining the profession’. Thus, we come to understand that it is possible to acquire new CAGB members and therefore, help them sell chicory to local retail chains.
We need to implement the objectives and strategies discussed in this presentation for two reasons: (1) Job vacancies and (2) To connect. First, we can open up more jobs by helping farmers sell locally. This, in turn, betters the community. Second, we can connect people-to-people by helping them to develop relationships with one another. In this manner, culture does not get lost as it sometimes does when international companies come in with their goods and services. Also, it should be noted that email can be one of the main methods (social media) of both corresponding and obtaining approval as determined by PR Studies.
Also, it should be mentioned that the UK economy will face global turmoil and high oil prices in the upcoming year. Therefore, our economy is in for a bumpy ride, as pointed out by Giles. Remarkably, we can use this to our advantage to get local retail chains to contract with local farmers who are members of the CAGB. Not only that, the fact that oil prices have increased means that it is getting difficult to keep up with the currency exchange. As a result, inflation is possible, as The Economist discussed.
Therefore, getting Approvals for implementation of the items mentioned in this CAGB Report are very achievable. Consequently, let me suggest that the campaign begin by us purchasing a list of consumers’ email addresses and sending out a bulk, but relevant email detailing what we are trying to accomplish. We can then ask the consumers to answer the survey and send the email back to us for a free cup of coffee or something along those lines.
So, now this presentation comes to concludes. Please keep in mind that the main issues to be addressed in the PR campaign concerns us making the general public aware that they can purchase fresh vegetables if the local farmers are given the opportunity to sell to the local retail chains. Thus, the main goal is to get the independent local farmers to become members of the CAGB so that they can have the opportunity to sell their chicory and other vegetables to local retail chains.
Remarkably, this will help the UK reduce the heavy reliance on imported exotic vegetables. As a result, by local farmers selling to local retail chains, the local economy will be able to create a sustainable competitive economy. Thus, in order for us to achieve a better future, let us narrow the bridge the gap between our consumers, our local farmers (suppliers), and our local retail chains (distributors). Thank you.
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