By Kevin Waetke

George Bernard Shaw wrote that “the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

Today, that has never been more true. People are distracted – by work, by family and, most recently, by their phones. In this mobile, digital world, phones connect us all. In response, the Pork Checkoff spent the past year thoughtfully reviewing how it shares information. Yes, how it communicates.

Work began with a thorough review of the Pork Checkoff’s websites, beginning with a look at how people look for information online. Consumers have moved away from relying on a single “destination” when searching online to routinely scanning multiple sources to find what they seek. Think about it this way: Google.

While the Pork Checkoff’s nearly two dozen sites appeared on the surface to fit with this trend, the opposite was true. The 20-plus sites were competing with each other, making it less likely, in fact, for people to discover pork recipes, cooking temperature recommendations and more pork facts from the Pork Checkoff.

Less Equals More
The upshot was moving from 20-plus sites to the single pork.org with tabs for each key audience. The streamlining has helped the Pork Checkoff connect more often with producers, consumers and others online, sharing key messages about pork.

Moving forward, the Pork Checkoff will keep improving its communication efforts to be more effective and efficient. In the year ahead expect:

• Continuing to fine-tune pork.org and enhance digital outreach, including the Pork Checkoff social media.

• Putting a face on farming through farm tours, the America’s Pig Farmer of the Year® program and other efforts. Producers are an integral part of the equation in connecting with consumers. You can host farm tours or share daily life on your farm by posting online using the Checkoff’s hashtag, #RealPigFarming.

• Strengthening relationships with allied industry to gain insights on how to better communicate and connect with influencers and the Pork Checkoff’s supply chain partners on key issues. The goal is to build a new road map to follow and share messages in real time.

• Implementing a re- designed communications mission, with more strategic sharing of information among all of the Checkoff’s key audiences.

• Sharing the pork industry’s foundation of sustainability and the We CareSM ethical principles. The Pork Checkoff will continue to reach out to media, pork-chain partners and other key audiences to reiterate that producers are committed to doing what’s right for people, pigs and the planet.