Stonyfield was an early adopter of social media. The dairy company’s Bovine Bugle was one of the first brand blogs to attract attention—and engagement—with its conversational style and wit. The company’s commitment to social media hasn’t waned, as evidenced by its Organic Quarterly Blogger Tour program, which has won first place in the “Influencer Event” category of Ragan’s 2018 PR Daily Awards.
The idea behind the tour is to enlist bloggers to share the Stonyfield culture from the perspective of organic dairy farmers who supply the milk the company uses to make its yogurt. Having influential bloggers tell the story, with a focus on why organic food is preferable and an explanation about why it costs more, overcomes consumer skepticism of communication directly from brands.
Storytelling is at the heart of the effort, with the Stonyfield team orchestrating the events to discuss everything from soil and grass to the holistic treatment of cows and the pesticide-free pastures where farmers’ children play and cows graze. Six to seven bloggers are selected for each quarterly tour based on their potential for reaching Stonyfield’s consumer audience.
The planning involved is detailed, from the top-rated lodging where bloggers stay to the transportation to and from the farm. Meals feature locally sourced food and at least one dinner is hosted by the company’s co-founder. Other members of the Stonyfield team are on hand to answer questions.
Each tour produces enviable results; one delivered more than 20 million impressions from a single trip. The bloggers go out of their way to let the company know how much they appreciate the event, in addition to sharing their stories on their blogs.
Congratulations to Kristina Drociak, Mairead Dunphy and Marcia Flansbury.