Millennials & the Changing Global Landscape for Food PR
As I was preparing to take on the role of Managing Director of the new Hunter Public Relations office in London, I was reflecting on an experience I had with a friend several years ago when he sent me a satirical article about people taking pictures of their food. He was teasing me about how much I was snapping and sharing everything that was put in front of me. Little did he know, I was actually participating in a global food-sharing movement. Technology, emerging social platforms, an acceptance of phones at the table and a slew of “how to take a great food photo on mobile” stories all fueled the ever-evolving landscape of how people talk about and share their culinary experiences.
Technology has given us a forum to share anything and everything we’re doing from the #epicmilestones to the #everdaymoments and Millennials have grown up almost exclusively in this digital generation. Access to technology has allowed them to amass content, edit on demand and curate different digital personas in moments. An architect by day can be a gastronimista by night with a social following and a stack of invitations (actually, more likely emails) to foodie and industry events. The same technology that lets them push out content, allows them to pull content from anywhere in the world. Borders – whether geographic, cultural or otherwise – don’t exist in their world. As a result there is a huge opportunity for brands to creatively insert themselves into an exciting and literally hungry Global Millennial community.
- Food, Drink & Travel is the 2nd most shared passion (25%) on social media networks, behind Technology & Social Media (28%) for Millennials.
- 52% of Millennials ages 21-32 would rather go to a food festival than music festival! (And now we see the music festivals drawing not only great music acts, but exciting names in food.)
- YouTube food content increased 280%.
Digital media and the ever-expanding thirst for content has evolved the traditional role of PR from pitching and placing a product in the pages of a round up, food column or traditional recipe page to taking a much more influencer-driven approach to driving awareness and relevancy. As food has continued to rise in importance in pop culture, chefs, bartenders and culinary artisans have emerged as a new, incredibly talented and innovative breed of celebrity. We have the ability to engage consumers through a broader eco-system of influencers, including these celebrity chefs and popular social foodies, who all have their own unique news cycle.
That’s not to say we need to eschew the traditional. We still may be engaging the columnists, journalist and other members of the media, but now they have more opportunities to “speak” about us than just that by-line once a week or month. We’re earning opportunities for our brands to be broadcasted through the social feeds of not just the outlets, but the individual influencers’ lives as they join us at events, try samples on a dish they’ve prepared at home or see us out and about organically in the world.
As Hunter Public Relations brings its integrated PR, digital and influencer communications model to service clients globally, I’m particularly excited to continue working with brands in the food + drinks space to earn powerful roles in these global, constantly evolving and always delicious conversations.
And I’m also a little excited to share this post with my friend who sent me the article!