As COVID-19-related stories dominated the news cycle in spring 2020, Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. had to quickly adjust its storytelling strategy to stay relevant and present with media by offering experts and content for the timely food-focused conversations consumers were seeking out in that moment.
As Beef’s national PR partner, Linhart PR was charged with breaking through the crowded COVID-19 news cycle to capture media interest and secure national coverage that positioned beef as a go-to, trusted and versatile protein for everyone’s at-home needs during the pandemic.
To determine where and how beef could fit into the flood of grocery shopping and food made at home news, Linhart PR monitored coverage multiple times a day – since that’s how quickly the content and coverage was shifting – and adjusted angles and targets regularly.
Consumers were looking for stock-up ideas, new recipes for families and how to store leftovers. Intermittent interruptions in the beef supply also meant focusing on alternative cuts and different price options too.
We found alignment on what media and consumers were seeking from food sources and what Beef could uniquely deliver with the following successful national news outlet pitch offers:
--A cooking demonstration with recognizable celebrity chef Lamar Moore that showed consumers how to prepare a restaurant-caliber steak at home; Moore also incorporated messaging about his work with a nonprofit to feed frontline workers as charitable efforts made headlines across the U.S.
--An expert interview with meat scientist and butcher Bridget Wasser that shared tips on selecting and cooking affordable beef cuts when variables in the food supply chain impacted grocery availability.
--An expert interview featuring R.D. Carolyn Williams who delivered kid-friendly meal ideas perfect for either in-person or remote learning that featured beef.
According to the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. State of the Consumer Fall 2020 Report, the number of people with a positive perception of beef increased in 2020, reaching 70% for the first time ever. And the share of dollars for beef grew from 53% pre-pandemic to nearly 58% during the pandemic.
Our work on the COVID-19 media relations campaign, in partnership with the Beef team, contributed to both.
In total, we secured 17 stories on FOX News and Yahoo! Life and in The Daily Meal and Well + Good. Through a combination of chef-focused cooking demonstrations, expert-led interviews, and online news pieces, we reached nearly 210 million Americans with key messages about beef as a pandemic-friendly solution for consumers cooking meals at home.