[Editor's Note: With the school year ending, it makes sense that June is National Candy Month, bridging the candy gap between Easter and Halloween. Yet the candy business is much more than child's play. Indeed, during our Q&A with Carly Schildhaus, senior manager of public affairs, National Confectioners Association (NCA), she emphasized the group's data-driven approach to communication. In addition, while NCA's 25th annual Snacks & Sweets Expo, held late last month in Chicago, featured 4.5 acres of candy, she touts the business its 700 exhibitors and 16,000 attendees did. Not to worry, she spilled the candy in response to our final question, as you will see below.
However, before that she discusses how NCA's media relations' pros took an offbeat pitching path during the pandemic. While there was a plethora of stories about the awful situation, NCA pitched a slightly upbeat story. It centered on how locked-down Americans embraced chocolate and candy, easing some of their anxiety.
On the other hand, the candy industry, like many others, faced pandemic hurdles. Fortunately, media relations intervened, helping save Halloween 2020 from cancellation.
Her responses were lightly edited for space and clarity.
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