James Coston . Ashanya Indralingam . Brian Jarvis . Cassandra Novy .

Joe Sparks

A Public Relations Plan

Z-Best Coffee

Table of Contents
Executive Summary Company Background S.W.O.T Analysis Research Publics Key Messages Goals, Objectives, Strategies & Tactics Evaluation Conclusions & Recommendations Budget Sample Tactic 1 Sample Tactic 2 Sample Tactic 3 Sample Tactic 4 Sample Tactic 5 Timeline ... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 5 ... 10 ... 11 ... 12 ... 15 ... 16 ... 18 ... 20 ... 22 ... 24 ... 27 ... 29 ... 31

‘ Taste the love, Love the taste-

Z-Best Coffee’
+Zakir Twaddle

Executive Summary
Columbia’s coffee market has grown by leaps and bounds in the last two decades, as evidenced by the amount of coffee that consumers purchase both by the cup and by the bean. The number of coffee houses has multiplied, from locally owned shops like Lakota and the Dunn Brothers to chains like Starbucks and Kaldi’s. The amount of coffee that customers buy off the shelves, from supermarkets to specialty shops, also has increased — especially in light of the recession. Note that Columbia coffee drinkers are not limited to college campuses by any stretch. Across the board, more and more residents seem to be incorporating a caffeinated java fix into their daily lives. For Z-Best Coffee, the good news is that tremendous opportunity abounds for a quality coffee roaster to grab a foothold in the marketplace. As our primary research proves, Columbia residents who try Z-Best almost always have positive things to say about it. Despite the ripe market, however, Z-Best faces several challenges. Not enough people are familiar with Z-Best or even know that it exists. In addition, Z-Best is limited by its budget compared to most coffee sellers in the area. The overall goals of our public relations plan, therefore, are to promote brand awareness in the local community and to build an online presence. If more people are exposed to Z-Best, they’ll be more inclined to purchase it in the future. That said, our objectives are to increase brand recognition of Z-Best by 20 percent and to increase the amount of online traffic by 25 percent within a six-month time period. Based on our research, we recommend the following strategies: • • • • • Promote Z-Best “by the pound” by expanding the number of retailers in which the coffee is sold Promote Z-Best “by the cup” by co-sponsoring coffee tastings at local venues Generate favorable media coverage Create easier navigation for the website Build presence on social media marketing sites

Company Background

Z-Best owner Zakir Twaddle has been roasting his own coffee since the 1980s. He officially launched his own business in 1995 with a $5000 loan, a popcorn popper and a few bags of coffee beans. In Zakir’s words, his favorite part of his job is roasting the coffee by hand and hearing people tell him that they truly enjoy his product. Zakir runs Z-Best out of a remodeled shed outside his home in Sturgeon, Mo., about ten minutes north of Columbia. He now owns a custom $20,000 roaster capable of roasting 100 pounds of coffee per hour if necessary. Currently, however, Zakir only roasts about 100 pounds a week. Z-Best is a bare-bones operation with minimal operating expenses. After roasting the beans, Zakir delivers freshly made coffee on a weekly basis to area businesses that include Hy-Vee, Clover’s Natural Foods, Abigail’s, Sycamore, Flat Branch Pub & Brewing and Uprise Bakery. Zakir’s wife, Patricia, maintains their website: www.zbestcoffee.com. Z-Best primarily serves the Columbia market but also takes orders online. At present, however, online sales generate only 2 percent of Z-Best’s revenue. Hy-Vee and Clover’s Natural Market account for 90 percent of sales. Business saw a downturn following the recession. Though sales did increase by 15 percent in the last year, it’s still nowhere near the 300 pounds of coffee per week that Zakir was selling four years ago. He now sells 150 to 200 pounds, but needs to sell 500 pounds in order to turn a profit. He does $5,000 to $6,000 in sales each month, but needs to double or triple that figure to be profitable. Aside from a few articles around 2007, not much has been written about Z-Best in the local media. Zakir spends little on advertising and most of his business seems to come by word-ofmouth or from personal relationships with business owners.

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S.W.O.T Analysis
• Great taste: Z-Best Coffee receives high marks when it comes to taste. The flavor, aftertaste and “buzz” are all strong points. From our survey and sample testing, the overwhelming majority of participants responded positively. • Organic product: As more customers seek out organic products, it’s a real plus that Z-Best offers organic coffee blends. A growing number of coffee buyers, in fact, will not consider products that are not organic, as our survey proved. • Good reputation: Zakir’s personality shines when it comes to conducting business with local stores and restaurants. Business partners often compliment his work ethic and personality as well as the quality of his product. Quite simply, everyone who knows Zakir seems to like him. Hy-Vee credits Zakir with expanding the health food departments of its stores. • Locally roasted: Z-Best coffee is custom-roasted after each order and then shipped immediately to customers to ensure they get the freshest coffee possible. Locally roasted products also appeal to customers who prefer to support small businesses rather than corporate franchises. • No storefront shop: As Zakir roasts his coffee in Sturgeon and then sells it in person around mid-Missouri, there’s no Z-Best outlet in Columbia advertising the brand in storefront letterhead. The lack of a sit-

down establishment makes it difficult to compete with the coffee shop crowd. As for customers who drink Z-Best at places like Flat Branch, they might not realize they’re drinking Z-Best or make the association that it’s locally roasted and readily available for purchase.

• Online traffic: Only 2 percent of Z-Best’s sales are derived from online purchases. If more Web traffic is directed to zbestcoffee.com, there’s a good chance the number of online purchases will increase. More Web traffic to the site promotes brand awareness. • Stores willing to carry product: After resolving a personal issue, Uprise Bakery has recently begun to sell Z-Best again. Perhaps other coffee retailers in Columbia could be persuaded to carry it as well. • Social media: Though a fan recently launched a Facebook page, Z-Best does little to take advantage of venues such as Twitter or blogs and forums, especially those geared toward coffee drinkers. In today’s digital world, aggressive use of social media is a component to any business plan.

• Z-Best is not Fair Trade Certified: Fair Trade is an issue for many coffee buyers, as more participants than expected brought up the issue during our survey. In theory, Fair Trade is based on a partnership between producers and wholesalers that ensures sustainability and fair trading conditions, including health and safety standards as well as an agreement not to use forced or child labor. According to Zakir, however, there is debate as to whether Fair Trade Certified products indeed live up to their expectations, to the point that Zakir has removed Fair Trade from consideration of his business plan. • Lack of awareness: Again only a small percentage of coffee buyers are aware of Z-Best. Many who drink it either know Zakir personally or shop regularly at specialty shops where it’s sold. • Lack of advertising: Z-Best Coffee does not advertise at present, though in the past Zakir posted ads at Hollywood Theatres and in the Add Sheet. The product is largely sold by word-of-mouth and a few underwriting spots on KBIA, Columbia’s National Public Radio affiliate. Zakir also contributes to their membership drives. • Poor product placement: At local stores where Z-Best is sold, the product is consistently placed on the bottom shelf, making it hard to spot for customers who don’t already know it’s there.

• Economy: Profits for Z-Best tend to fluctuate with the economy. With less money in their pocketbooks, coffee buyers might be more inclined to purchase generic coffee brands. • Competition: Z-Best Coffee’s biggest competitors are Lakota and Dunn Brothers, both local coffee shops situated in Columbia. Zakir has also struggled against high-end national imports. With no storefront business, Lakota and Dunn Brothers have the upper hand. • Chain restaurants: At one time, Z-Best was sold by the cup in dozens of local restaurants. But many of them closed up shop in the last decade, especially as corporate chains moved in, bringing with them their own distributors and having no need for local producers. • Local media: As Fair Trade became a hot topic, Z-Best was taken to task by the Columbia Missourian for not buying Fair Trade Certified coffee beans, resulting in a frayed relationship. The Columbia Business Times, meanwhile, wrote an in-depth feature on Zakir’s business that was pleasant enough; and the Columbia Tribune mentioned Z-Best in a related article about a family that ate only from local producers for a week as part of the Localvore Challenge. The fact that all of them have previously written stories on Z-Best decreases the chances of them doing so now, though the odds are not insurmountable.

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2. Fair Trade-certified and organic coffee

Secondary Research
Our secondary research provided strong evidence that home coffee consumption has increased significantly in the last decade, and that a growing number of coffee drinkers are switching to gourmet and specialty brands. We also found that consumers who buy their coffee by the bean are more likely to weigh whether their purchase is organic and/or Fair Trade Certified, prompted by an increase in consumers’ knowledge of farming techniques and employment practices. Widespread environmental and Fair Trade movements mean that consumers care about the origins of their coffee and the practices of its producers. Transparency in methods translates to customer loyalty.

• In 2009, growth in the value of coffee surpassed volume growth, according to the Specialty Coffee Retailer. This is largely because demand for premium coffees such as Fair Trade, single origin, organic and Rainforest Alliance has transformed the overall market. • Fair Trade coffee sales grew by 32 percent last year. Both Rainforest Certified and organic coffees saw double-digit increases. The net sales for imports of all three will soon pass $100 million. • There are also significant increases in levels of customer loyalty to value-based purchasing. Looking ahead, much of the industry’s growth will remain in the specialty coffee segment. • Many nations, including the United States, are beginning to enact legislature that regulates organic products. Currently at $3 billion, the organic market in the U.S. is expected to double in the next two to three years.

1. Consumer behavior
• The National Coffee Association polled 26,000 consumers of 441 brands in 63 categories to discover value is the primary driver in the coffee category along with service, surroundings, quality, taste and selection. • The popularity of single-serve coffee systems has made it easier to have gourmet coffee at home every morning. • Daily consumption of coffee beverages remained consistent in 2009 with 54 percent of the overall adult population partaking, according to the National Coffee Association’s annual survey. • Coffee preparation at home is up 5 percentage points with 83 percent of past-day coffee drinkers reporting that they made coffee at home the day before, according to the NCA.

“Corporate social responsibility statements, selecting Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and sustainably grown coffees and decisions, like providing healthy alternatives to high-calorie, artificially flavored and colored offerings, are visible and, when sincere, highly marketable ways to differentiate the store.” — Dan Bolton Specialty Coffee Retailer

3. Controversy surrounding Fair Trade
• Though the name might lead one to believe otherwise, Fair Trade, or equal exchange coffee that bypasses the trader, does not always mean a fair price for coffee farmers, or that extra money trickles down, according to coffeeresearch.org. • Coffee supply is excessive compared to demand, and Fair Trade can keep prices at inefficient economic levels, according to the Cato Institute.

“From our perspective as a wholesale roaster, there’s a clear trend we’re seeing of specialty coffee sales shifting from ‘by the cup’ to ‘by the pound.’ This is being driven by consumers’ desire to still enjoy fine coffee, but save money where possible. We see consumers rediscovering the joys of brewing great coffee at home – and have consequently become very open-minded about discovering new retail resources.”
— Joe Prewett, Vice President of Marketing, Coffee Bean International

“Others argue that Fair Trade coffee is as exploitive as the conventional kind, especially in countries that produce the highest-quality beans — like Colombia, Ethiopia and Guatemala. Fair trade farmers there are barely paid more than their counterparts in Brazil, though their crops become gourmet brands, selling for a hefty markup.” — Geoff Watts Vice president, Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea

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4. The coffee industry in Columbia
• When Lakota opened in 1992, it was only one of two places that sold coffee in downtown Columbia. Fifteen years later, there were five other shops all within five blocks: Panera Bread, Starbucks, Kaldis, The Underground Café and the Coffee Zone. Also downtown are Kayotea Tea Room, Sven’s Kafe and Café Berlin. • In 2008, however, the Coffee Ground shut down. According to media reports, Lakota and Kaldi’s are stuggling as well. • One element of Lakota that drives customer loyalty, however, is the in-house roasting, which exposes the business district to the rich scent.

Primary Research
In order to gain insight into the coffee-buying habits of consumers, we gathered data through a coffee tasting set up at Clover’s Natural Foods. As participants tried Z-Best coffee, we asked them if they’d be willing to take a survey as well. Questions involved consumers’ favorite brands, what qualities in coffee are most important, and their degree of familiarity with our client.

Survey statistics
Of the 19 people who took our survey: • 26 percent spend less than 5$ and five percent spend $10-$20 68 percent of our participants spend between $5 to $10 a week on coffee 89 percent buy coffee from grocery stores or supermarkets, followed by a close 58 per cent who buy from coffee shops (participants could choose more than one answer) • • • • •

“We’re selling quite a bit of our bulk coffee,” said Lakota owner Skip DuCharme. “It seems like people are making more of it at home.”
• Root Cellar opened in 2002 as a small grocery and specializes in locally grown products.

Taste/quality, price and Fair Trade are ranked as the top three factors when purchasing coffee 63 percent had heard of Z-best coffee, mostly from Clover’s or by word-of-mouth 26 percent of participants buy Z-best coffee on a regular basis. Other coffees mentioned include Yuban and Folgers

“I’m the middleman between farmer and consumer,” said co-owner Kimberly Griffin. “When a person buys food from that comes from 3,000 miles away, even if it’s certified organic, you still can’t know what the growing practices truly are. It’s different when you know the farmers and buy directly from them.”
• The need for smaller, centrally located groceries like Clover’s Natural Foods is likely to grow, according to the Columbia Business Times. This news bodes well for local producers like Z-Best.

About 25 people participated in our taste test, of which 24 reported favorable results. Comments included: “Delicious”; “Very tasty, rich and creamy”; “Very flavorful”; and “Excellent with a robust flavor.” Only one person was dissatisfied, claiming the taste was too strong and bitter (see Graph 1).

“The number of coffee shops has really exploded in Columbia,” said Ariel, a sales associates at Clover’s. “I remember when there was just a handful, and then Barnes & Noble opened one in the mall. People definitely take it seriously. There’s a whole culture around it.”

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Primary Audiences
Coffee drinkers who buy their coffee by the bean are our primary audience. These are the true coffee drinkers who value taste and quality. Z-best is not cost-competitive with the lower-end brands, but it is cost-competitive among premium coffees. The target market can be further divided into two groups: those who buy their coffee in stores and those willing to buy coffee online. Coffee drinkers who buy their coffee in stores make up the bulk of Z-Best’s business, as 90 percent of revenue comes from Hy-Vee and Clover’s. But this market needs to be maintained and expanded. Many potential buyers might skip over Z-Best while perusing the aisles if they don’t see it at first glance due to poor product placement. Recall that 37 percent of those surveyed had not heard of Z-Best coffee. If we increase customer awareness of Z-Best or convince stores to routinely place Z-Best on the top shelves rather than the bottom, sales could increase as well. Coffee drinkers who buy coffee online also value taste and quality, perhaps even more so than store buyers if they’re willing to seek out certain brands via the Internet. With only 2 percent of Z-Best’s revenue coming from online purchases, Web purchases represent a virtually untapped market. These customers are tech-savvy and best reached through online social media, such as Facebook, Twitter or niche blogs devoted to specialty coffees.

Secondary Audiences
Local businesses willing to co-sponsor events such as coffee tastings offer another means to promote the brand. These small business owners recognize that Z-Best is a high-quality product with local appeal. To gain their support, we must stress that co-sponsoring events is mutually beneficial, as the net result is bringing more customers into their store. The local media can be utilized to boost awareness of upcoming events, such as coffee tastings or a vendor booth at the Farmer’s Market. The Columbia Business Times is often favorable to this sort of coverage. When news releases are sent out, Z-Best can follow-up by phone and/or e-mail to answer questions about the product. For other local media outlets, such as the Columbia Missourian, Columbia Tribune, or KOMU, it will be tougher to convince them to do in-depth feature stories. But regional/national publications might be interested. For example: Tea & Coffee Trade Journal, Fresh Cup Magazine, or Midwest Living.


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Key Messages
Z-Best tastes great and is one-of-kind. The combination of exotic beans imported from South America and Africa which are then custom-roasted right here in mid-Missouri makes for a very unique experience. The caffeine “buzz” is more pleasant than mainstream brands, much like sipping Grey Goose versus well vodka. Once customers try Z-Best, it’s hard to go back to low-end or generic coffees, and our own teammates can attest to that.

Goals, Objectives, Strategies & Tactics
Overall Goal: Increase brand awareness
Objective 1: Promote Z-Best in Columbia and increase brand recognition by 20 percent
Strategy 1: Promote Z-Best coffee “by-the-pound” to local coffee drinkers
Rationale: Based on our secondary research, we found a significant increase in homemade coffee consumption during the last two years. Due to the economic downturn, more consumers are purchasing their coffee from grocery stores and supermarkets. Z-Best has an advantage in this market, given its local following at prominent retailers like Hy-Vee and Clovers. Tactic 1: Promote Z-Best’s appeal as organic and locally owned • We propose setting up a vendor booth during the summer at the Farmer’s Market. As the face of Z-Best, Zakir can hand out free samples as well as business cards listing his Web address and social media links. This encourages both face-to-face and two-way communication, and serves as a means for Zakir to network and foster relationships with customers. Additionally, Z-Best coffee products will be available for purchase, along with a sign-up sheet for a monthly e-mail newsletter (see Sample Tactic 1). • In the same vein, we suggest approaching the local health food mart Root Cellar for permission to host a coffee tasting. Customers who frequent the store are already drawn to the idea of organic and locally grown products and will be receptive to ZBest. If reactions are positive and time permits, Z-Best can conduct more tastings and initiate plans for Root Cellar to carry their product (see Sample Tactic 2). Strategy 2: Promote Z-Best coffee “by-the-cup” to local coffee drinkers Rationale: Columbia’s demographic of local residents and transient students contribute to its burgeoning coffee house scene, which has grown considerably in the last decade. Z-Best is already available at local establishments such as the Uprise Bakery. If Z-Best can capitalize on its existing business relationships, Zakir could drive more traffic to these locales as well as expand his business to other coffee houses and restaurants and promote overall brand awareness.

Z-Best offers organic and locally roasted coffee. Both our primary and secondary

research reveals that customers value products that are grown within the community using natural ingredients. Concerns range from sustainable agriculture to pesticide-risk reduction. Z-Best should always promote itself as an eco-friendly local business in order to generate consumer interest.

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Objective 2: Build Z-Best’s online presence and increase hits by 25%
Tactic 2: Host Z-Best-themed events through partnerships with local venues • Z-Best can take advantage of its re-established partnership with Uprise Bakery (where Z-Best is sold by the cup) by co-sponsoring an event such as Wake Up to ZBest Breakfast! (see Sample Tactic 3) • We recommend conducting an event during the fall and offering patrons a free cup of Z-Best with any purchase from the bakery. As it calls for no expenditures on their part, this is a win-win. • Z-best can hire an intern (see Sample Tactic 4) to cold-call and e-mail invitations to local/regional café owners as well as prominent Columbia personalities. Cost-effective methods like a Facebook event page would spread the word. If successful, the event can be repeated at other venues.

Strategy 1: Create easier navigation for the website
Rationale: As stated, only 2 percent of sales derive from online purchases. Revamping the website is the first step to generate higher returns. The website itself functions more as an informational portal than a sales medium. Site navigation is thus geared towards anecdotal and informational materials rather than facilitating product sales. Tactic 4: Hire an intern to revamp and maintain website and use online communication strategies to drive traffic to the website • Prioritize outreach by utilizing the comments section on blogs devoted to coffee topics as well as community websites. Z-Best can use this public relations tactic to link back to the website. • Maximize SEO (search engine optimization) by editing the website’s content and HTML codes. Z-Best can then increase its relevance to specific keywords and increase its appearance on search engines.

Strategy 3: Generate media coverage
Rationale: With so many reporters in Columbia thanks to the Missouri School of Journalism, ZBest could attempt to pitch a story through a variety of angles — local roaster, one-man operation, organic coffeemaker and small business owner. Tactic 3: Use hype surrounding the Farmer’s Market and Wake Up to Z-Best Breakfast! to create media buzz • Send press releases that publicize free events featuring Z-Best (see Sample Tactic 5). These could be written and sent by an intern who strategically targets media outlets. New media releases would include links to the website, Facebook and Twitter pages. • Potential niche magazines: Inside Columbia, Midwest Living, Rural Missouri, Tea & Coffee Trade Journal, Fresh Cup Magazine. • Pitch Z-Best from a human-interest perspective and invite reporters and photographers for a tour of Zakir’s operation. A pitch could include a fact sheet, backgrounder and photographs of Zakir’s roaster. • Local newspapers: The Columbia Daily Tribune, Columbia Missourian, Boone County Journal, Jefferson City News Tribune • Television stations: KOMU as well as ABC and CBS affiliates

Strategy 2: Build presence on social media marketing sites
Rationale: Doing so is easy and virtually cost-free, and is becoming a must for every business owner. The two sites we recommend are Facebook, for its high accessibility, and Twitter, for its targeted audience. Both sites encourage two-way communication and help build relationships/networking. Tactic 5: Use an intern to contribute and maintain two-way communication on social media sites • For Facebook, we suggest four to five posts per week, such as anecdotal stories or photos of events that personalize the company. The page also can offer promotional deals to fans and keep members posted on upcoming events. • Note that a Facebook page already exists, recently created by a fan in the community. We recommend utilizing this page to contribute two-way communication rather than build a new page. • For Twitter, we suggest creating an account. An intern could expect to regularly update the status; add comments, retweets and time-sensitive promotions; ensure all posts have correct hash tags; and encourage customer feedback • As a sub-tactic, a Z-Best Twitter account can partner with local Twitter sites such as BoomDeals (compiles and tweets Columbia’s best deals of the day) to offer promotions and discounts. • We also suggest creating a business-style LinkedIn account. It only takes a few minutes and adds another layer of legitimacy in the eyes of many Web-savvy users.

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Overall evaluation of Objective #1: Conduct a second survey in six months to gauge the
difference in the number of participants who have either tried Z-Best or recognize the brand name.

Conclusions & Recommendations
Despite having regained some traction in the last year, as evidenced both in the increased demand for the product and repairing the relationship with Uprise Bakery, we believe this is only the beginning for Z-Best. Zakir is in a great position to expand his business and elevate the Z-Best brand to a household name for Columbia and midMissouri residents. On a personal level, we have enjoyed getting to know Zakir and find his enthusiasm to be contagious. He’s a great PR tool in himself, and surely other business owners and coffee drinkers will feel the same. After much research and thought, we have the following recommendations: 1. Host events in the community. There’s no greater PR than face-to-face communication. Zakir has a very compelling personality and should use it as much as possible to promote his product. Free samples and coffee tastings will go a long way to endearing customers as they experience Z-Best. 2. Build an online presence. With an intern onboard, building the Z-Best brand on the Web should be a relatively simple process. Don’t underestimate the power of social media to promote awareness and drive traffic to the website. 3. Promote Z-Best as an organic and locally roasted product. Based on our research, many customers would rather buy homegrown coffee from small business owners than go to chains like Starbucks or Kaldi’s. This is what separates Z-Best from most of the competition.

Evaluation of Tactic #1: If Zakir opts to set up a booth at the Farmer’s Market this summer, success will be measured by the number of samples given out compared to the number of purchases made. If enough coffee is sold for Zakir to break even, we consider that a success. In the case of Root Cellar, persuading the owners to allow Zakir to conduct a coffee taste is a success in itself. If they decide to carry his coffee afterward, that’s a bonus. Evaluation of Tactic #2: As to the potential of a Wake Up to Z-Best Breakfast! at Uprise Bakery, a turnout of at least 30 customers would be a success as well as a reason to continue hosting future events. Evaluation of Tactic #3: In this case, merely writing and sending press releases is not enough. To be a success, at least one publication has to devote some page space to an upcoming Z-Best event.

Overall evaluation of Objective #2: We would measure the increase in Z-Best’s online

presence by conducting an informal study of his various arenas — website, social media, etc. — again following a six-month period. Evaluation of Tactic #4: The effect of the revamped website can easily be measured by the number of hits. We place the bar at five to 10 hits per week. One option is to use Google Analytics to measure website traffic and trends. Evaluation of Tactic #5: Setting up Twitter and LinkedIn accounts as well as posting to blogs, forums and the Facebook fan page is only the first step. The real measure is in twoway communication. If Z-Best is averaging 10 to 15 responses per week across all forms of social media following a six-month period, then he can officially claim online presence.

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Nearly all our tactics can be achieved at minimal cost, especially if Z-Best brings on an unpaid intern to plan events and build an online presence using social media. The largest expenses are setting up a booth at the Farmer’s Market and co-sponsoring a taste testing.Everything else is under $20.

Farmer’s Market Booth Farmer’s Market coffee samples Business cards (250 color cards from FedEx Office) Wake Up to Z-Best Breakfast! (After potential sponsorships are included) Root Cellar’s taste testing Intern Facebook/Twitter/Official website Total

$100 $20 $20 $50 $20

10 hours (see above) 2 hours 10 hours 5 hours 5 hours/week (see above) 32 hours

Free Free $209.99

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Monthly E-mail Newsletter
by Brian Jarvis

Sample Tactic 1

May 2010 Newsletter
Greetings Fellow Z-Best’ers, First a heartfelt thanks to the enthused customer who took it on his/herself to launch a Facebook page in our honor. With 36 fans already onboard, we hope to see more visitors leave comments, post photographs and other fun stuff. Look to see all of our upcoming events posted there as well. An even warmer thanks to Uprise Bakery, who, after a yearlong hiatus, has begun to sell Z-Best again thanks to popular demand. At well under $2 for a large, it’s about the cheapest (and of the course the best) cup to be found on MU’s campus. With May on the horizon, look to find us at the Farmer’s Market doling out free samples and selling our latest flavors by the bean. We’ll even have a custom grinder on-site. Have two or three free samples if you like — we’re well aware of the wake-up juice you might need to trek through the market first thing on a Saturday morning. Details have not yet been finalized, but we’re thinking of offering free tours of our roasting facilities right here in Sturgeon for those brave enough to make the trip. Naturally a few iced coffees afterward might be in order afterward to survive the summer heat. Something to keep in mind as you make your weekend plans… And remember, we want to hear from you! In beans we trust,

Zakir Twaddle

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Pitch Letter to Root Cellar
by James Coston

Sample Tactic 2

Zakir Twaddle Owner, Z-Best Coffee 17205 N. Hwy NN Sturgeon, MO 65284
Dear Walker Claridge and Kimberly Griffin, My name is Zakir Twaddle and I’m the owner of Z-Best Coffee, a small business located in Sturgeon just 10 miles north of Columbia. Since our start in 1995, we’ve developed something of a niche in the Columbia market. I roast my coffee by hand and then deliver it in person to local businesses. I’m reaching out to see if Root Cellar would be interested in letting me host a coffee tasting. I’d be happy to take care of all the planning and expenses. If it brings in customers to your store, it would be a win-win for both of us. I’m confident I could deliver at least 30 people for a weekend breakfast tasting. Why Root Cellar? We know that you only sell the best products produced within our home state of Missouri. For Z-Best, it’s all about quality — and from what I’ve seen, that holds true for Root Cellar as well. I’d be happy to send you a complimentary sample of my coffee so you can try for yourself. If you take a liking to it, we can discuss the possibility of carrying it on your shelves. What do you think? I’ll plan to follow up later this week. I can be reached at (573) 875-5605. Warm regards,

Zakir Twaddle

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Event Brief
by Ashanya Indralingam

Sample Tactic 3

Wake Up to Z-Best Breakfast!
Venue: Date: Attendees: Uprise Bakery Saturday, August 28 from 7-11 a.m. Open to the public

Event Funding As Z-Best is already sold at the Uprise Bakery, Zakir is in a comfortable position to propose a joint sponsorship opportunity— use of the name and venue in exchange for publicity and free coffee. The partnership will drastically reduce costs and can potentially use regular clientele and working staff with minimal effort. Aside from the man hours and the cost of the coffee itself, the budget should be under $20. Event Marketing & Promotions A Facebook page plugging the event can easily spread the word. The only promotional material that would incur costs is the printing of the posterboard.

Prominent Columbians expected to attend: Former Mayor Darwin Hindman Eastside Tavern owner Sal Nuccio Z-Best proprietor Zakir Twaddle

Event Rationale Wake Up to Z-Best Breakfast! is the first in a series of events aimed to build brand recognition and promote Z-Best. Targeted toward by-the-cup drinkers who frequent coffee shops, the event will reintroduce Z-Best to the Uprise Bakery and capitalize on its taste and quality. Event Summary 7 a.m. The event kicks off the moment the café opens. A posterboard at the entrance will inform patrons that any purchase at the bakery comes with a free cup of Z-Best. Customers can choose their blend. 8 a.m. Zakir will give a short introduction to Z-Best’s background and history. Local luminaries such as former Mayor Darwin Hindman can chip in with their thoughts. Customers are free to mingle and ask questions. 8:30-11:30 a.m. Z-Best brands will be available for purchase. Customers can also sign-up to receive the Z-Best monthly newsletter via e-mail. Zakir can distribute his business cards that list his website and social media links.

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Intern Job Description
by Joe Sparks

Sample Tactic 4

Z-Best is a small business that specializes in premium coffee sold wholesale. Although Z-Best is hand-delivered to retailers around mid-Missouri, the product can be shipped anywhere in the country. Z-Best needs an intern to develop and maintain its website as well as a presence in social media. The intern must be familiar with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter as well as blogging sites like Digg and Mashable. Imagination and creativity are welcome. Much of the work can be done at home or off-site. The internship is unpaid but can be done for course credit through the University of Missouri. The deadline to apply is May 30. Job Description Position: Part-time internship Requirements:
• • • • • Write news releases, brochures, pitch letters and flyers Organize promotional events Working knowledge of HTML Ability to generate viral “buzz” and two-way communication via social media Familiarity with public relation strategies and tactics

Hours: 8-10 hours per week Pay: Course credit Contact: Zakir Twaddle E-mail: zbestcoffee@socket.net Phone: (573) 875-5605 Address: Z-Best Coffee 17205 North Hwy NN Sturgeon, MO 65284

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News Release
by Cassandra Novy

Sample Tactic 5

Z-Best Coffee Company LLC Contact: Cassandra Novy Address: 17205 N. Highway NN Sturgeon, MO 65284 Phone: 573.875.5605 E-mail: cnovy@zbest.com
April 26, 2010 For immediate release

Locally Owned and Custom Roasted Z-Best Coffee Joining Columbia’s Farmers Market COLUMBIA, Mo. – Z-Best Coffee Co. LLC is proud to announce that it will open a booth at the Columbia Farmer’s Market starting Saturday, May 1, 2010. This marks the first time Z-Best Coffee will be showcased at the Farmer’s Market. Owner and proprietor Zakir Twaddle will be on hand giving out free samples and selling the latest flavors by the bean. Twaddle will also have a grinder so that beans can be ground on-site. “Being part of the Columbia Farmer’s Market is a great opportunity for Z-Best,” said Twaddle. “We love being out in the community meeting people and being able to offer them a one-of-akind product that is roasted right here in mid-Missouri.” Z-Best Coffee offers more than 15 varieties of beans that come from Central and South America, Africa, and Indonesia. The company ships orders all over the country as well as delivers coffee locally to businesses such as Clover’s Natural Market, Hy-Vee, Gerbes and the Uprise Bakery. Z-Best Coffee will be available on Saturdays at the Farmer’s Market as well as Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the summer.

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You can purchase Z-Best in person at the Farmer’s Market, at local businesses in Columbia, or online at www.zbestcoffee.com. Zakir Twaddle launched Z-Best Coffee Co. in 1996. It is locally owned and operated out of Sturgeon, Mo. The company is registered in the state of Missouri and licensed for both wholesale and retail sales. To see a list of products, local businesses selling Z-Best, or to purchase coffee, visit www.zbestcoffee.com. The Columbia Farmers Market showcases more than 70 local farmers, producers, and artisans. It is located at the Activity & Recreation Center on the corner of Clinkscales and Ash streets. You can go to www.columbiafarmersmarket.org for an updated listing of hours and operations, as they change throughout the year.

• Start recruiting and hire an unpaid intern • Create a Facebook page • Create a Twitter feed and LinkedIn profile • Update the Z-Best website • Pitch story ideas to niche magazines and local media stories

May 2010
• Promote upcoming events at the Farmers Market, Root Cellar, and Uprise Bakery

June 2010
• Host first of two Farmer’s Market vending booths

July 2010
• Host a coffee tasting at Root Cellar

August 2010
• Host the second Farmer’s Market vending booths

September 2010
• Host Wake Up to a Z-Best Breakfast! before a Mizzou home football game

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Sample Survey
(conducted atClover’s Natural Foods)
5. What brand of coffee do you usually buy? ____________ Gender? Student? M or F Y or N 6. How willing are you to try a new coffee? • Very willing • Somewhat • Never 7. How do you receive your news? Circle as many as you want. • Internet • TV • Radio • Print Newspapers • Other — please explain 8. Had you ever heard of Z-Best Coffee? If yes, how did you hear of it? • Word of mouth • Free sample • Advertisement • Other — please describe 9. How did you like Z-Best coffee? _________

1. How often do you drink coffee? • More than two cups daily • At least 1-2 cups daily • A few times a week • Once in a while 2. How much do you typically spend on your coffee? • Less than $5 a week • $5 to $10 a week • $10 to $20 a week • More than $20 a week 3. Where are you most likely to buy coffee? You may circle more than one. • Grocery store/supermarket • Coffee shop • Restaurant • Web site • Other — please explain 4. What are the most important things about your coffee? Again you may circle more than one. • Taste/quality • Price • Convenience • Grown organically/ healthy beans • Grown locally, not imported or sold at a chain • Grown by certified Fair Trade farmers

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1. Blumensheid, J. “Columbia’s coffee market affected in plunging economy.” Columbia Missourian. Nov. 12, 2008. 2. Garcia, J.P. “Coffee Culture in Columbia.” Columbia Missourian. Jan. 11, 2010. 3. Nelson, A. “Serve It up Local.” The Columbia Daily Tribune. Oct. 5, 2007. 4. Christian, L. “The neighborhood grocery: Looking to the past for a greener future.” Columbia Business Times. Dec. 23, 2009. 5. Cook, M. “Business Profile: Z-Best’s Owner Beans with Pride over Success of His Coffee.” Columbia Business Times. July 28, 2007. 6. “Roasting Operation.” Columbia Business Times 28 July 2007. 7. “Boost Sales During a Recession: The Growing Importance of Qualified Online Sales Leads.” www.MSDynamicsWorld.com. 8. Cole, Henry S. “Preserving the Rural Tier by Creating Economic Opportunity: Part 1.” Prince George’s County Rural Tier Watch. Jan. 27, 2007. www://livableruraltier.blogspot. com 9. Geier, B. “Organic Agriculture Worldwide: A Fast-Growing Reality.” The Light Party. Feb. 1999. 10. “What Is Fair Trade?” Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International. 2009. www. fairtrade.net/what_is_fairtrade

“Why settle for the rest, when you can have Z-Best?”

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