A recent beef checkoff-funded television media "tour," held via satellite and featuring heat-and-serve beef pot roast, received widespread interest from television stations across the country.

As a result, information about convenient beef products were seen by about a half million viewers in more than 12 states.

Linda Eckhardt and Katherine DeFoyd, the mother-daughter authors of "Stylish One-Dish Dinners," participated in the satellite media tour, called "This Is Not Your Mother's Pot Roast." Featured was a heat-and-serve beef pot roast that was then transformed into other dishes. Convenience was the main topic of the tour, but several basic nutrition questions were also covered.

Prior to the tour, station interviewers were provided a press kit featuring information about the new heat-and-serve category and consumer and lifestyle data, as well as two pot roasts.

"I found it interesting that reporters from a couple of the stations were eating the pot roast on the air, while they were doing the story, said Joyce Lofstrom, director of consumer public relations for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), which conducts any beef checkoff-funded promotions on behalf of the Beef Board. "They were very impressed."

Fifteen stations participated in taped and live interviews during the early morning hours of Jan. 12. They included stations in Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Texas, Colorado, Michigan, Tennessee and Massachusetts. The stations were affiliated with the networks NBC, FOX, ABC and CBS.

The on-air broadcasts targeted busy moms with no time to cook, but still wanted to serve a tasteful, healthful meal. Nutrition benefits of beef also were highlighted, as well as the fact that pot roast provides comfort in a fast-paced world.

Ned Purtle, Hope, AR, a cow-calf producer, and vice chair of the beef industry's joint Public Relations Subcommittee, saw the satellite media tour on television. He said he thought the program was highly effective in increasing the demand for heat-and-serve beef meals.

"These dishes haven't hit some local markets," said Purtle. "Someone sitting at home watching this will want to try it, and they will go to the market and ask for it. Getting the publicity out creates more demand."

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