I recently attended the IFT Aksarben (IFT-A) winter meeting with my colleague Mark Hughes, and with the large turnout of attendees, it provided us a great opportunity to network and engage with other members. We also participated in the annual Silent Auction—an event where all the proceeds go toward scholarships for outstanding students dedicated to food science and IFT. The silent auction was a success with over 50 items donated from companies like ConAgra Foods, Cargill and Corbion.
In addition to the silent auction, the IFT-A event included two speakers, Drs. Timothy and Deanna Sellnow of the University of Kentucky, both highly esteemed and well-established in their fields. They shared best practices for risk communications as well as strategies to use in the time of a crisis. Their presentation walked us through what they laid out as the IDEA Model: Internalization, Distribution, Explanation and Action.
The discussion covered a lot of the same issues we shared in our Food Science vs. Food Babe—Who Controls the Story series, and the risk communication strategies Drs. Timothy and Deanna provided were very similar to the communication tips we highlighted in our blog post and infographic titled, Top 5 Tips for Fighting the Food Babe and Opinion-driven Activists.
The presentation was a great reminder of the importance of having a communication strategy in place to allow food marketers a way to respond quickly to a crisis and communicate the strong and important food-science story they have to tell.