In 2010, California poultry producer Foster Farms had the distinct honor of raising the Presidential Turkey to be pardoned by President Obama in a White House ceremony – an annual National Turkey Federation Thanksgiving tradition dating back to 1947.
Our primary objective was to enhance Foster Farms’ overall corporate image and reputation by demonstrating how raising these birds reflected the highest standards of American agriculture – “raising a turkey worthy of a Presidential Pardon.”
Generate brand awareness for Foster Farms in news coverage of the Presidential Turkey and expand coverage beyond the days leading up until Thanksgiving. (Fineman PR’s research included a media audit of the previous year’s coverage about the Presidential Turkey, which showed only a handful of stories about the national turkey and only three that mentioned by name the previous year’s turkey company in charge of raising the national bird. These stories all ran in the news cycle during Thanksgiving week, not in the months leading to the national holiday.)
- Partnership with California and Washington Agriculture in the classroom including development of school curriculum, blog chronicling the turkeys development and implementation of nine West Coast educational school assemblies to which media were invited.
- Presidential Turkey participation at select large scale consumer events in California and Washington in months leading up to Thanksgiving.
- Presentation to Agriculture in the Classroom annual teacher conference and media promotion of such
- Behind-the-scenes media tour of Wellsford Ranch where the Presidential Turkeys were raised.
- Behind-the-scenes Presidential Turkey sendoff event at Wellsford Ranch – and sendoff at San Francisco Airport.
- Promotion of the Presidential Pardoning ceremony.
The Presidential Turkey initiative became the most successful public relations campaign in the 70-year history of Foster Farms. Fineman PR, on behalf of Foster Farms, took an annual National Turkey Federation event and, effectively, branded it, saturating national and West Coast news coverage with positive feature stories about the company and brand over several months’ time.
Compared to the prior year’s news coverage –three branded mentions of a competitor– Foster Farms’ program generated 375 branded news articles with a reach of more than 230 million impressions.
As a testament to the program’s effectiveness in branding Foster Farms’ best practices, the National Turkey Federation requested that Foster Farms present at committee meetings for its role in “taking the task of raising these birds to a new level.”