The state of Texas, much like the rest of the United States, faces a shifting dynamic when it comes to conversations about food. In years past, consumers felt confident with domestic food production and trusted farmers and ranchers to grow safe, healthy and affordable products to feed their families. However, more recently, Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) and other agricultural organizations have noticed a heightened awareness and discussion of food and agricultural issues across the state.
As the state’s largest farm and ranch organization, TFB wanted a more in-depth understanding of Texan’s attitudes and opinions on a variety of issues, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs), animal welfare, water availability and food prices. TFB called on Three Box to conduct an extensive study that would drive the organization’s messaging and communications strategy.
The Three Box team designed TFB’s 2013 Attitudes about Agriculture research study, which included both quantitative and qualitative research. We facilitated a telephone survey of 400 Texans, representing statistical distributions of demographics in the state. After receiving the results, we used the data to draft key messages and test them through focus groups in Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio. The focus groups also provided further insight into the quantitative findings. Following a comprehensive analysis, Three Box and the TFB public relations team finalized 10 key messages that the organization has incorporated into its five-year communications strategy.
Three Box used the findings to shape messages used in outreach to consumers, farmers and ranchers, media, and state and national legislators. Key public relations results include:
- Key messages incorporated into all TFB communications—including media outreach, publications, blogs, TFB Radio Network programming and direct mail
- Strategic direction for the organization’s lobbying objectives for the 84th Legislative Session
- Recognition through a 2014 Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), a 2014 Pegasus Award from PRSA Dallas and a Silver Best Practice Award from the Public Relations Global Network
Strategic messaging, backed by solid research, enables TFB to communicate more effectively and facilitate conversations between its farmer and rancher members and consumers. That’s research you can hang your hat on.