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AMI Embracing Social Media Transformation

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Washington, D.C. --   If you mentioned the words Twitter, Blogging or Technorati to AMI’s founders in 1906, they probably would have thought you were speaking Greek.

In recent years, though, AMI has supplemented its traditional public affairs and communications strategies, like press releases, media advisories and conference calls, with ever-evolving new social media tools available on the Internet today. 

About two years ago, both AMI and the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (NHDSC) created YouTube channels to post educational videos, b-roll and video statements to counter myths and misinterpretations.  The channels have gained popularity since – the Hot Dog Council’s video on “Hot Dog Etiquette,” for instance, has received over 294,000 views.  AMI’s YouTube channel can be found at http://www.youtube.com/meatnewsnetwork and the Hot Dog Council at http://www.youtube.com/hotdogcouncil.

 Building on its YouTube success, the Hot Dog Council jumped into the Facebook world and began a Fan page this year.  The page serves as an excellent forum for hot dog and sausage lovers around the globe and houses photos, trivia, videos and recipes for all to enjoy.  The Council also uses its Facebook page to post surveys and polls about all things hot dog and sausage. 

 AMI’s Worldwide Food Expo - held this year in Chicago, October 28-31, also maintains a Facebook page.  Through it, the trade show is able to provide updates on lodging information, links to registration for workshops, announce speakers and offer tips for exhibitors. 

 “Facebook is a really great way for us to keep in touch with and provide updates to those attending Worldwide Food Expo,” said Anne Halal, AMI vice president of convention and exposition services.  “Networking is one of the greatest reasons people attend Worldwide Food Expo – this just means you can network more easily before and after the show.” 

To become a fan of the Worldwide Food Expo on Facebook, visit http://bit.ly/j7gPQ; to become a Fan of the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council visit: http://bit.ly/fZoeU.

 AMI and AMI staff have also expanded their presence on LinkedIn - a free, business-oriented social networking site that AMI uses for professional networking.  Its “Events” section is an excellent portal for colleagues, suppliers and industry representatives to keep up with AMI’s staff, meetings, workshops and tradeshows: http://bit.ly/8KNy2

AMI has also been very active in the widely popular Twitter universe.  Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that uses text-based posts of up to 140 characters called “tweets.”  AMI has used the service to connect with other agriculture communicators, post news and facts and participate in online discussions.  To follow AMI on Twitter, visit http://www.twitter.com/ and search for us at @MeatAMI.

To monitor the blogosphere, AMI uses web based search engines such as Technorati and Google Blog Search to keep abreast of what is being written on blogs that are of importance to the meat industry.  AMI also has plans to create a blog of its own in the near future. 

 AMI Director of Media Outreach Tom Super said, “It is important to note that social media is not the end-all solution to AMI’s communications efforts.  It is simply another tool in our communications tool box.  It is supplemental to our ongoing public affairs campaigns, but in a way that is more direct to the consumer, which reflects the cyclical nature of the Web and the immediacy of today’s news cycle.”

 “Social media is evolving every day -we’re currently looking into newer sites and next generation applications, too, such as Google Wave and Ning,” Super concluded.  “There is no doubt social media has proven an integral part of AMI’s communications efforts.” 


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