Can one company change the conversation around global food production?

Can One Company Change the Conversation Around Global Food Production?

Seeking to demonstrate how agricultural technology positively impacts the global food supply, a global agricultural products manufacturer adopted an integrated communications strategy to change the conversation around food production.

Services | Strategy, Branding, Public Relations, Content Development


Popular culture has amplified the voice of small but vocal groups opposing the use of agricultural technologies that help farmers produce a safe, affordable and abundant supply of food. Modern agriculture production practices have also been the focus of citizen-driven legislative initiatives affecting the farming, policymaking and food retailing sectors.

5MetaCom’s client – a global agricultural company that develops, manufactures and sells products to help improve the productivity of food animals while limiting the impact of food production on the environment – initiated a strategy to engage thought leaders across the food chain in a conversation about food production.

The Work

Creating an integrated approach

5MetaCom sought to shape the conversation about food production through an integrated approach that included white papers, social media, media relations targeted at ag, food retailing and business press, online platforms that promoted shared content, plus a new blog that brought together diverse voices on the issues surrounding food production, environmental sustainability and hunger.

  • Industry white papers: Two white papers were developed and presented at internationally recognized hunger and agriculture conferences. The papers were further leveraged through news releases and media pitches, and via one-on-one desk-side briefings with media influencers.
  • Media relations, agriculture: Through media outreach, the client’s position on industry issues was shared in dozens of print, broadcast and online trade media in the U.S. and around the globe via guest articles, commentaries, desk-side briefings and source filings. The client also spoke about the issue at high-profile industry events such as the World Pork Expo.
  • Media relations, food retailers (grocery and restaurant): 5MetaCom contacted, booked and managed one-on-one briefings with key food media influencers, secured guest columns in leading supermarket media and landed coverage in high-profile restaurant publications.
  • Media relations, business press: 5MetaCom secured one-on-one briefings with key business outlets including The New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek.
  • Industry Blog – Plenty to Think About: 5MetaCom created a blog facilitating a global conversation about food production. The blog addressed questions such as, “How can the world produce enough food to feed 9 billion people by 2050?” and “Why is the concept of choice so important for consumers around the globe?”  5MetaCom secured thought leaders to contribute guest posts (some ghostwritten by 5MetaCom) and supplemented those posts with timely interval posts from the news cycle. Guest contributors included leaders from organizations such as ONE, the World Food Prize Foundation, American Farm Bureau, Truth About Trade and Samaritan’s Purse, as well as farmers, ranchers and consumers. Leading trade media outlets promoted the blog’s launch.

An integrated branding and PR strategy helped a global leader in food production change thinking on key industry issues.

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We helped our client change the conversation about food production.

The communications 5MetaCom developed were shared across multiple channels – with industry thought leaders, online and via social media, in trade publications and more – with outstanding results:

  • White papers were shared with global food policy influencers at the 2009 and 2010 World Food Prize events. The exposure was further leveraged through news releases promoting the white paper at the events.
  • Our client’s message was shared in dozens of ag outlets, including: Agri Marketing, Cattle Network, Drovers, Farm Journal, Feedstuffs, Pig Progress, and many more. It was carried by leading food retail publications including Food Manufacturing, Grocery Store Headquarters and their “How Will We Feed the World” presentation was named “top vote getter” in SlideShare’s “World’s Best Presentation” competition.
  • The “Plenty to Think About” blog, launched in August 2010, showcased more than 30 of the world’s leading minds from academia, industry, food retail and NGO leadership as guest post contributors.
  • Both “Plenty to Think About” traffic and user engagement escalated quickly. Between January 2011 and December 2011, subscribers increased 220% and page visits increased 193%. Unique monthly visitor interaction also increased significantly across the blog’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube social media channels.