Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Food PR talk: Crafting culinary messages

image courtesy of worthofagape.com

There are a few simple road rules to creating a message.
1) Keep it short.
2) Keep it simple, and
3) Make it stick like toffee to the tongue.
Sounds easy, but when you put it in a food context, how do you create a broad food message that can easily fit into one mouth?

It is achievable but not without serious, extensive background work. Communication practitioners understand the trials and tribulations of this task, but knowing that our ability to grab the average consumers attention currently stands at less than 8 seconds according to a Microsoft Corp. study, places a great deal of pressure in an already pressure cooker atmosphere.

This is the current food world as of 2016. If you've been following the news, checking out Instagram, Twitter or any other social media outlet, or just simply watching humans function, you would or should be aware that there are people who can easily afford that super-refreshing, dark kale and muesli cleanse, while there are others who can only imagine what it would be like to just taste an apple. It's that sort of disparity that can make the creation of a simple across-the-board food message a task akin to finding Waldo.

But it can be done.

The first step is figuring out who encompasses your audiences. There will no doubt be distinct groups within that audience, but it will be your job to determine what is the common denominator that unites all of these groups. Trust me, if you do your research, a common fact, issue or characteristic can be found if you look hard enough.

Next, cut out the crap and get straight to the point. Crafting a message that can appeal across the board needs not only to unite, but also be all the things mentioned in the opening paragraph. Short, sweet, and tasty to the mind and tongue.

Finally, test it out. Does your message hit all the required buttons of success? Is it getting through? Surveys, or just ask questions to find out if you've hit the hunger spot.

Crafting a culinary message need not be any different from the creative steps taken in various other professions and fields. It requires significant amounts of time researching and understanding the people you would like to reach, but most importantly, it requires excellent listening skills. People won't open their ears and minds to receive your message if you don't give them a very good reason to like what they are swallowing.

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