National “Fruit” Board puts PR in review

Steve’s breakdown: Valda Coryat is the lead contact over at the National Mango Board. Their number is 407-629-7318 and her email is vcoryat@mango.org

ORLANDO, FL: The National Mango Board is reviewing its PR business after a 10-year run with FleishmanHillard.

The organization is seeking an agency to develop its consumer programs and messaging across nutrition, retail, and consumer, said Valda Coryat, the group’s director of marketing.

She added that consumers are aware of the nutritional value of mangoes and enjoy their flavor, but the board sees an opportunity to increase consumption year-round. The Mango Board recently brought on Ayesha Curry, star of the Food Network’s Ayesha’s Home Kitchen, as its spokesperson.

“We have grown tremendously, but in some ways have plateaued in terms of our positioning versus other fresh fruit,” said Coryat. “We are in a number 20 position based on retail data and are looking to break above that.”

The National Mango Board is an agriculture promotion group supported by assessments from both domestic and imported mangoes. It budgeted for a total income of $6.6 million for 2017 and plans to spend $3.9 million on marketing this year, as well as more than $500,000 on communications, according to its website.

After issuing the RFP early last month, the board expects to make a decision in September. FleishmanHillard, its current PR AOR, is defending the account. Coryat, who joined the National Mango Board last month, declined to disclose budget information.

“We’ve had a strong relationship with [Fleishman] for 10 years,” said Coryat. “We have not made a decision yet whether we are going to make a change. We just thought after 10 years, this is a good reflection point.”

The National Mango Board has also recently worked with Padilla, which collaborated with the board on a project to redesign its website starting in 2015. That assignment ended last year, Padilla CEO Lynn Casey said.

“We’ve greatly enjoyed working with the National Mango Board for the past decade and hope to continue our partnership in helping bring the world’s love of mangoes to the U.S.,” Whaewon Choi-Wiles, an SVP and partner at Fleishman, said via email.

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