If you’ve ever wondered how national food brands are promoted, now’s your chance to dive into the history of some exciting public relations campaigns through a PR pioneer’s candid tell-all that offers tips, tales of successes and mishaps, and insights gained from publicizing a large variety of clients.
A Historical View of Food Publicity
(Family Features) If you’ve ever wondered how national food brands are promoted, now’s your chance to dive into the history of some exciting public relations campaigns. “Adventures in PR,” a new book from PR pioneer Leo Pearlstein, offers an insightful and informative perspective on the history of food publicity. In his book, Pearlstein recounts a number of interesting adventures – both good and bad – with classic movie and television celebrities over the past 60 years, and shows readers how to apply these experiences to their own business activities.
When Pearlstein founded Lee & Associates, Inc. Marketing in 1950, he had no idea he would one day be referred to as a "Legend of Food PR.” Over the years, Pearlstein, who personally supervises all phases of the agency's operations and members of his firm, has won numerous awards for outstanding accomplishments in food-industry public relations, marketing and merchandising from many organizations.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers, food conglomerates and major corporations have called on Pearlstein's expertise in corporate communications. He pioneered California agricultural commodity and generic promotions, and created and supervised successful programs for more than 40 different food advisory boards, trade associations and co-ops, as well as state and federally funded marketing groups. And, because of his great knowledge of food, Pearlstein was invited to participate in the first President's Council on Nutrition at the White House.
Pearlstein's candid tell-all offers tips, tales of both successes and mishaps, and insights gained from publicizing a large variety of clients. “Adventures in PR” also contains many historic photos and behind-the-scenes stories with stars such as Jayne Mansfield, Abbott and Costello, Steve Allen and others. Anyone interested in the PR industry – or foodies wanting to know how national brands are promoted – will find this book an enjoyable read.
“My stories are about adventures that happened as a result of opportunities” Pearlstein said. “There were two types of opportunities. If something happened in the press, we would see if we could react with positive information that would be complimentary to our client. There were also opportunities that we could create by working with someone else and including their product information with our messages. We call them ‘tie-ins.’ We would share costs for media and production, or we would include their product in our recipes and they would include our product in theirs. We would both benefit with increased exposure without additional costs.”
For more information about “Adventures in PR,” visit adventuresinpr.com.
Why your favorite foods may soon be changing....
(BPT) - The Federal Government's push for reduced sodium in American foods will likely affect your favorite foods within the next few months. Food manufacturers will be pushed to change their recipes, which will change the taste and texture of many foods made in the U.S.
Government officials have indicated that they will be announcing a "voluntary" sodium reduction scheme as early as this summer, although the voluntary aspect of it may be lost on the millions of Americans whose favorite foods will be changing without their consent.
When the Federal Government posted their plans to reduce sodium years ago in the Federal Register, Americans rose up with a resounding, "Hands off our salt!" The public comments on the federal site were overwhelmingly against sodium reduction.
The government's plan has also become contentious with medical researchers who increasingly are presenting scientific evidence that population-wide sodium reduction is unnecessary and/or potentially harmful.
The latest evidence, including a 2014 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrates that there is a safe "range" of salt consumption that results in a lower risk to the overall population. According to this research, the lower end of this safe range begins around 3,000 mg and extends up to 6,000 mg sodium. Americans consume about 3,400 mg sodium on average - at the lower end of this safe range. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Dietary Guidelines recommend a level of 2300 mg a day, a number below the safe range.
Dr. Michael Alderman, editor of the American Journal of Hypertension and former president of the American Society of Hypertension, has repeatedly cited his concern that a population-wide sodium reduction campaign could have unintended consequences. "They want to do an experiment on a whole population without a good control," Alderman says.
The government points to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Dietary Guidelines as the basis for pushing sodium reduction; however the Dietary Guidelines on sodium have been in dispute for years. Critics of the government guidelines remind us that the USDA has been admittedly wrong in the past. Most recently the USDA changed its view on eggs finding that they are part of a healthy diet after 40 years of saying they were bad.
For decades, Americans have also been told that they need to drastically reduce their salt intake. However, latest research indicates, including a report from the Journal of the American Medical Association, low-salt diets can lead to insulin resistance, congestive heart failure, cardiovascular events, iodine deficiency, loss of cognition, low birth weights, and higher rates of death. Studies show dangerous side effects from lowering sodium below 3,000 mg/day.
Critics of the government's sodium reduction plans have encouraged people to sign a petition called Hands Off Our Salt on the White House website and have encouraged people to email Secretary Sylvia Burwell of U.S. Health and Human Services. On the other side, some activist groups have been pushing for the government to force changes to almost every recipe in the U.S. It remains to be seen which voices the government will heed.
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