June marks the final month of the Grain Foods Foundation’s (GFF) spring campaign, RISE, through which we are highlighting the important connection between grains and energy. As I discussed in my April column introducing RISE, we have enlisted the support of former Olympian, soccer star and mom Mia Hamm as our spokesperson. It’s been an extremely successful campaign, and I’d like to use this column to share an update of our activities to-date.

In terms of media outreach, we continue to make significant progress connecting with influential outlets. Since the launch of RISE, we have secured news placements in top-tier, health-focused publications, including AOL.com, About.com, FitSugar.com and Shape.com. As a result of our proactive outreach, the RISE campaign has generated nearly 237 million earned media impressions as of the writing of this article…with more to come.

We also secured in-person meetings in New York City last month for Hamm with reporters from leading media outlets such as Everyday Health, Fitness, Parents and The New York Times. During these meetings Hamm discussed how bread and grains fuel her up to be her best and reinforced their value in her family’s diet. With the Summer Olympic Games quickly approaching, it’s the perfect opportunity for Hamm to share her story, which resonates with influencers and consumers alike. 

In addition to in-person media briefings in New York City, the GFF was a part of the first-ever Fitness Meet & Tweet on May 9, an event that attracted nearly 150 hand-selected, influential health and fitness bloggers. We hosted a booth where attendees received information about the importance of grains for fueling their bodies—even from Hamm herself. Bloggers were excited to meet with the former Olympian and were able to take photos with her in front of the RISE backdrop used in our campaign advertisements. They also had the chance to sample some delicious grainy offerings at our booth’s toast bar featuring a variety of grain foods with sweet and savory spreads.

Lastly, Hamm participated in a RISE Twitter party on behalf of GFF on May 17. We found Twitter parties present an excellent forum for engagement and the opportunity to reinforce campaign messages with influential Twitter users. As of the writing of this article, the party had not yet taken place, but based on the success of previous events, we anticipate meaningful conversation surrounding the key place of grain foods in a healthful diet.

As the campaign comes to a close, I invite you to visit our Facebook page (Go WithTheGrain) and blog (SixServings.org) for real-time updates. Thank you to all of you who have supported RISE.  SF&WB