Intro to Food PR: Highlighting A True Food Connoisseur

Fannie Merritt Farmer, left, with a student at the Boston Cooking School.   Photo by NY Times.

Fannie Merritt Farmer, left, with a student at the Boston Cooking School. Photo by NY Times.

In today’s society, the “foodie” population has significantly rocketed, particularly brimming with young people. We cannot scroll through social media or go throughout our daily lives without seeing a new food or beverage trend. With new brands and restaurants flourishing each day, the industry can get pretty competitive, as one could imagine.

Like it or not, the majority of our world today revolves around having the next best thing and broadcasting it among social media platforms, which has honestly done wonders for the food PR industry. A meal out is much more than the actual food now a days; guests focus on atmosphere, aesthetic and overall experience. Not only has food trends boosted today’s economical ways of marketing, tourist attractions and eateries within the years, but has created its own lifestyle.

So, what is the importance of food PR? It’s much more than making things photogenic. With being a part of such a large and upcoming industry, restaurants are in need of more than just chefs - brands are now turning to the power of public relations. Public relations within the food industry was once overlooked, but could now make or break a company. From creating campaigns to strategic thinking, PR agencies have held major responsibilities and roles in the food world. With an industry many once thought could not be its own sector, we wanted to kick-off our first food post by highlighting an iconic food pioneer and the impact she’s made in food history.

Cooking in the 19th-century relied on measurements like a “handful” of this and a “sprinkle” of that; however, Fannie Merritt Farmer changed all that. Farmer is known as the first professional cook who brought a scientific approach to cooking - by using precise measurements like teaspoons, cups and ounces for the best outcome.

Correct measurements are absolutely necessary to ensure the best results.
— Farmer

Farmer was enrolled in Boston Cooking School, which was founded as a philanthropic venture to enable women of modest means to find work as cooks in private homes and institutions. On top of being a cook who revolutionized the amateur chef experience, Farmer was also the first woman to be admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There, she shared her food insights and deepened her career in diet and health. Many more accomplishments like weekly lectures in The Boston Evening Transcript and the publishing of “The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book” -- which influenced famous female TV chef Julia Child -- also add to Farmer’s legacy.

Overall, Fannie Farmer was and is still today, a respected connoisseur in the culinary world. For more information, visit The New York Times’ Overlooked story, “Overlooked No More: Fannie Farmer, Modern Cookery’s Pioneer.”

Hungry for more? Check out the third session of our Summer School series, “Eating and Drinking Your Way Into PR,” Thursday, July 19. Julie Sternberg from HunterPR will be teaching how the world of food & beverage marketing is ripe with opportunities for PR professionals! To RSVP, click here.