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Guest Column: New Season of Marketing Maine Lobster

The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative (MLMC) is kicking off the season with a host of marketing activities to promote awareness and protect the reputation of Maine lobster including a satellite media tour, a MAT release, a video series, an updated website, and a lobster roll wedding cake.

Marianne Lacroix

Marianne Lacroix is the interim director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative.

We expect increased media coverage of right whale issues when decisions are announced in the pending court cases and when the Monterey Bay Aquarium finalizes its Seafood Watch ranking for Maine lobster (possibly resulting in a ‘red list’ or ‘do not buy’ recommendation). Because of this, we have planned a number of actions to promote the Maine lobster fishery’s commitment to sustainability and to right whale protections.

Lobsterman Mike Sargent did an amazing job fielding over 20 interviews in one day for our Satellite Media Tour, a controlled broadcast/radio interview segment pitched out to media stations and picked up based on their interest and needs. It appears alongside regular broadcast/radio content but is highly controlled with pre-selected questions and messages. For these interviews, we highlighted the positive work being done by the fishery, including efforts to protect right whales, unparalleled sustainability practices, and the small business nature of the industry. Our goal is to maintain consumer confidence in Maine lobster and the fishery ahead of peak season while driving home sustainability practices. These interviews have already reached 20 media markets, with video and audio news releases reaching an additional 330 markets. The interviews will continue to be aired over the next few weeks in target markets.

The new Lobster Roll Wedding Cake. MLMC photo.

MLMC distributed a sustainability-focused MAT, a controlled news release-style piece of content distributed to consumer audiences. The article, entitled “5 Reasons to Add Lobster to Summer Meals,” highlights reasons that consumers can feel good about eating lobster and includes a recipe for Chilled Lobster with Orange and Basil Vinaigrette to help inspire purchase. The release will be distributed across news outlets nationwide, as well as on social media. To date, results include over 1,000 placements across local media nationwide and over 182 million impressions.

In May and June, the MLMC filmed a new video series with the help of several industry members. We want to issue a special thanks to everyone who participated in the films, including the Coombs family, Dustin Delano, Curt Brown, Bob and Jesse Baines, Patrice McCarron, Rick Wahle, Kathleen Reardon, and Emily Lane. There are segments on lobstermen cooperating with scientists, ocean preservation efforts, community impact, and right whales; the goal is to improve awareness of the Maine lobster industry’s extensive and ongoing sustainability efforts. We will use paid video advertising to distribute the videos on major media properties throughout New England and in major seafood markets nationwide from July through September. We will share the videos with the industry as soon as they are finalized in July.

In other news, the MLMC has launched a newly updated website (https://lobsterfrommaine.com/). The site has an updated look and better functionality, allowing us to champion industry members, emphasize campaigns and storytelling, highlight relevant and refreshed content that we know users are seeking and generally improve the user experience with an easy-to-navigate system and thoughtful design. Most importantly, it has a mobile-first design, ensuring that the user experience is great regardless of what type of device is used to view the site. The site has also been improved for search engine optimization with optimized images, improved page load times and clearly defined header tags and metadata. All this means that we are likely to have improved Google rankings for key search results.

The MLMC partnered with My Seafood to launch the new Lobster Roll ‘Wedding Cake,’ leveraging the unique concept and compelling photography to gain media coverage at the start of the season. In the first few days of launching the concept, we secured coverage in Food & Wine, Foodbeast, Food & Beverage Magazine and TrendHunter. The Lobster Roll ‘Wedding Cake’ offers a new way to serve lobster rolls and reminds consumers of the celebratory nature of Maine lobster. With a strong wedding season coming on the heels of pandemic delays, we hope that the Lobster Roll ‘Wedding Cake’ will be the must-have trend of the year.

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