While standing in the spotlight may be uncomfortable at times, the strategic rooftop farmer embraces the media and “eats up” it’s marketing potential. Simply put, media coverage can be instrumental in disseminating a farm’s brand. Print and broadcast media coverage can go a long way, and social media may go even further within certain demographics. Regardless of whether a newspaper journalist, cinematographer, or blogger visits your rooftop farm, it will behoove you to be accommodating and put your best foot forward. The media’s relationship with a rooftop farmer, as with any public figure, can be either helpful or harmful in building the farm’s reputation, so be prepared!
Over the past few years, Trey Flemming from Urban Apiaries has learned how positive media relations can go a long way. Trey and his urban honeybees often appear in magazine and newspaper articles around Philadelphia, as well as in online articles, blogs, and documentaries. With all the attention, the Urban Apiaries brand has reached new heights: corporate America. While once available only at local co-ops and specialty stores, Trey’s honey is now available at Terrain – Urban Outfitter’s garden center.
Annie Novak, from Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, similarly embraces media coverage. When I visited Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in 2011, Annie welcomed me to the roof while in the middle of a photo shoot on the other side of a kale patch. With a warm air and magnetic disposition, it was no wonder that Annie simultaneously engaged a film crew, a foreign journalist, and myself (the aspiring author).
Annie welcomed each person to the roof with the same friendly smile, before she figured out who they were. Just remember, out on a roof you never know to whom you may be speaking.