The Kaling of America

The Kaling of America: PR for Vegetables and you

There isn’t a vegetable out there that cares whether it’s popular enough to be eaten. Take kale. Lately there has been an explosion in popularity for this green leafy vegetable.  This is an especially important observation because two years ago the consumption of kale was de minimusand now there are mountains of kale everywhere.  Kale has become the darling of foodies and celebrity chefs who are trading recipes across all media points.  Some studies indicate kale is now on 400% more restaurant menus that it was before the green explosion. At Trader Joe’s, plastic bags of kale organic and regular (I can’t tell them apart) vastly outnumber bags of pre-washed romaine lettuce, spinach and arugula, and the lowliest green thing of all—broccoli.  

Last year, I was waiting in between meetings and staked a spot at a new healthy fast food eatery called Evolutionwhere I had a bowl of veggie quinoa soup that was loaded with guess what?? Kale!  Within minutes I found myself in the middle of a marketing event where a detox outreach team showed up to promote colonic cleansing, and handed out little plastic cups of kale juice. Did you know that 1 cup of kale contains sustenance far greater than your daily requirements: 190% of Vitamin A, 90% of Vitamin C, mega doses of B6, Manganese, Calcium, Copper, and Potassium. Studies have shown that kale protects your eyes from the sun and prevents cataracts.  The enzymes in kale embed in your liver and trigger cancer fighting chemicals that eliminate unhealthy cells throughout your entire body, and when animals with tumors are given a diet of kale their tumors shrink. 

Oh My! Those clever kale PR people! Kale is much more than a vegetable; it’s the holy grail of the 21stcentury, the fountain of youth and the chief arbiter of world peace. These are just some of the benefits!

When even a vegetable has its own community relations outreach teams, someone has paid a mighty price for an enormous budget dedicated to a full-scale Marketing and PR outreach.  Kale is easy to grow, relatively bug and disease resistant, produces a high crop yield and even does well in freezing weather. In fact, a sudden frost actually gives kale a sweeter taste.  Why not create a market demand for kale?  Behemoth chain grocery stores are getting a higher ROI for selling Kale than for selling other greens.  Kale is not alone in its sudden popularity. Remember the past campaigns for raisins, prunes and blueberries?  If even vegetables need PR, then so do you. People have to create awareness for how well their services and expertise compare to what everyone else is offering. All of which begs the question: What are you doing to create market demand? This year, what strategy do you have in place for yourself?  

Excerpt from the book American Spin by Patricia Vaccarino

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Patricia Vaccarino

Patricia Vaccarino has over 30 years' expertise working with a wide range of national and international clients, in all areas of public relations: managing worldwide campaigns for global companies and developing strategy for small companies, startup ventures, and individuals.


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