In psychology class, students learn about Ivan Pavlov –- the man who taught his dogs to associate the ringing of a bell with meal time. The theory, called “classical conditioning,” explains why people mentally associate two things.
It may also explain why the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board is working extra hard.
The Seafood Board is concerned that Americans, who have long associated Louisiana seafood with homemade jambalaya and Southern hospitality, may now only associate it with the BP oil spill.
Although the Board was established more than 25 years ago to promote commercial fisheries, today it is more active than ever.
To combat the myriad of media images portraying polluted waters and dying wildlife, the Seafood Board has been racing to produce media coverage of its own, demonstrating that there’s more to the Gulf Coast than hazards and hardships.
Immediately following the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, the organization was inundated with interview requests. In an effort to provide accurate information and keep the public up-to-date, it remained committed to thoroughly answering every inquiry –- an effort that paid off.
3.4 Billion Impressions
The Seafood Board has found — through extensive research done by a leading media tracking firm — that over the past three months, media exposure of Louisiana seafood has achieved an estimated 3.4 billion repeated impressions in the United States.
“I think, without question, the media coverage has been unprecedented,” says Board Director Ewell Smith. “And the 3.4 billion figure doesn’t even count international media coverage. We’ve talked to BBC, Tokyo TV, Al-Jazeera and CTV in Canada — all multiple times.”
The organization says that it was easier to spread the message early on, because media outlets were coming to them. Now, the challenge is finding new ways to share Louisiana’s story. Just last month, for example, the Seafood Board invited chefs from around the country to New Orleans for an up-close look at the state of seafood.
And while their effort is far from over, Smith believes that they’ve already accomplished a great deal.
“We know our messages are cutting through the noise,” he says. “And we know we’re helping to drive the conversation forward — and that’s the most important thing.”