FDOC Working For You: Proactively Protecting Florida Citrus

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Information is accessible 24/7 from traditional media and mobile devices bombarding us with often conflicting messages and creating confusion. “News” is no longer generated exclusively by trained journalists. Now, citizens can break a story, post a blog, or spread the word via social media.

As the marketing agency for citrus growers, it is critical for us to stay ahead of the news stream to protect the reputation of Florida citrus. In today’s information-on-demand society, consumers expect instantaneous answers from the companies they buy from.

How do we meet these expectations? As with all marketing programs, FDOC utilizes strategic thinking to create a proactive public affairs program.

Straight To The Source

We speak with you, the Florida grower, as well as key constituents including industry organizations, brand partners, and trade groups to identify current issues and emerging concerns.

We monitor national television, radio, newspapers, and websites on a daily basis to see what topics the media is covering in order to anticipate future inquiries about the citrus industry.

Together, with our partner agencies, we discuss potential “What if?” scenarios. What if we experience a freeze this year? What if a reporter challenges the nutrition content of citrus? What if the price of orange juice goes up? As you can imagine, the list of questions continues to grow.

Reliable Sounding Board

FDOC is prepared with answers. We create industry statements about numerous topics, so we can provide an immediate response. We also determine the most credible and qualified individuals to speak about Florida citrus, then arm them with up-to-date information so they can dialogue on our behalf.

Then we go out and proactively ask questions. We identify what stories reporters are working on now and what topics are planned for the future. We build relationships with media and provide credible resources including accurate information and experts available for interviews to encourage balanced coverage that includes the citrus industry perspective.

We cannot always control the message, but we can be an active participant in the conversation and share the perspective of our industry.

Over time, we have all worked together to build a positive reputation for Florida citrus. The FDOC will continue to do its part to protect and preserve this valuable asset on your behalf. Together, we can help ensure the continued consumer acceptance and future sustainability of Florida citrus.

Ken Keck is the immediate past acting director of the Florida Department of Citrus.

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