Once again this year, at the behest of the Pear Bureau, the USDA has named December “National Pear Month”. We use this designation to create buzz among food editors, so they will write about pears and include pear recipes in their publications. Outreach to editors is an important and effective component of our marketing program.

As reported by our public relations department at a recent board meeting, fresh pears have received generous coverage in regional and national media early this season. The Pear Bureau’s media relations efforts have resulted in five times more consumer media articles to date this season. Stories, images, and recipes featuring fresh pears have appeared in magazines like Women’s Day, Vegetarian Times, Family Circle and Food Network Magazine, and in many prominent blogs.

Media coverage can also be attributed to usapears.org, as journalists are utilizing copy directly from the site. That was one of the main goals of the site redesign that took place last season. This season, the Pear Bureau is seeing increased accuracy of information in consumer articles. Journalists are picking up key messaging points about ripening, varieties, and the versatility of pears.

The Epicurious.com program launched on September 20 with a unique contest Web site created and developed by Conde Nast. The audience of five-million unique visitors per month at epicurious.com, 73% of whom are female, fits right in with the Pear Bureau’s target demographics.

The program included a consumer pear recipe contest, and the winner of the contest will win a spa getaway for two to the Pacific Northwest. The contest Web site features detailed variety information, sample recipes, flavor profiles, wine and cheese pairings, and ripening information. The consumer is required to use a variety of USA Pears in their recipe, and they can opt in to the Pear Bureau’s e-newsletter when they submit their recipe.

The contest closed on November 7 and the top three recipe entries are being celebrated online at epicurious.com and on usapears.org through December 31.

A satellite media tour was held at Domaine Serene winery on September 21 to promote the new season. It featured Chef Sam Talbot. Chef Talbot showcased pear and wine pairings and created a recipe featuring pears. The media tour was very successful, with interviews in 27 unique markets.

The first of three NAPS matte releases was published in September featuring pears for breakfast. The second release in November was a Spanish-language release with a heavy push for the newly-released Spanish site. The releases are active for a full year and typically reach about 15 million newspapers per release.

Leveraging editors and their publications can stretch our investments many times over. Earned media from this outreach can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in “ink” published in well-read publications and blogs. So celebrate national pear month and help us spread the word.

All pears all the time, Kevin
kmoffitt@usapears.com 503 652-9720