Jaime Schwartz, MS, RD
Do you ever wish you could just clone yourself? How nice it would be to get some help with a few items on your to-do list from someone who understands how to translate the science into consumer-friendly messages and can help you develop programs and tools to help your shoppers make informed food purchasing and preparation decisions. In the absence of a “mini-me,” there are resources who can help serve as an extra pair of hands—- fellow registered dietitians who work with the brands on your store shelves. RDs who work internally at food companies and commodity boards often act as starfish just as retail RDs do, with arms in marketing, communications, consumer affairs, and regulatory. RDs also work at public relations (PR) agencies on behalf of brands, supporting the company’s communications and marketing efforts.
As you’re developing relationships with category managers, buyers, and marketing, don’t forget about how the importance of relationships with your peers on the vendor end of the retail eco-system can be. While RDs in these roles may always be looking through a specific lens, they are nutrition educators first and can be viewed as peers who can help save you time in the right situations. They can also help you navigate relationships with your vendors. Here are just a few ways that they can help:
The best way to begin building relationships with the RDs working with and for brands is at industry conferences. LinkedIn is also a great tool to identify who works for what company or agency. Networking, whether done in person, via social media or email, is key.
Ketchum Public Relations, an RDBA partner, has five RDs on staff. Ketchum’s role as an RDBA partner is to not only be a resource to you, but also to contribute to the comprehensive educational content RDBA is providing to help advance the business education and career development of retail dietitians. From media skills, to social media and measurement, RDBA members will have access to content from Ketchum industry experts, resources and thought leadership.
Jaime Schwartz, MS, RD is a vice president at Ketchum Public Relations.