Overcoming Industry Perceptions and Managing Misinformation
The farmed salmon industry has historically been faced with issues related to overcrowded pens, overuse of antibiotics, and depletion of feeder fish that are essential to the ocean’s natural food chain. Verlasso is a brand of farmed Atlantic salmon, raised in harmony with nature and with adaptive farming practices that address the industry challenges.
Food & Nutrition
How could Verlasso, which cares for the health of the fish and the surrounding ecosystem, overcome long-held stereotypes to convince target audiences – chefs, distributors, retailers and consumers – that its farmed salmon is a healthy, sustainable and great-tasting choice?
Linhart PR (LPR) developed and executed a multi-pronged approach to combat misperceptions, manage misinformation and educate audiences about Verlasso’s sustainability practices to help drive engagement and sales.
• Aggressive media response and comment marketing: LPR monitored online conversations, allowing us to anticipate issues and respond quickly. We used key messages to post Verlasso comments that corrected misconceptions like “all farmed salmon is bad for you/the environment” on news sites and social channels and introduced Verlasso’s sustainable practices. And, we responded to negative farmed salmon and competitor news stories and offered discussions with Verlasso.
• Key opinion leader meetings: LPR helped reshape perceptions by arranging meetings and Verlasso tastings with top-tier food and sustainability media and influencers; well-known chefs, registered dieticians and trainers; and NGOs focused on sustainability and our oceans. Their endorsements have helped Verlasso validate their sustainability claims and build credibility.
• Speaking engagements: Verlasso Director Scott Nichols has shared the brand story, answered questions and corrected misinformation at Fortune Brainstorm Green, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Cooking for Solutions/Sustainable Foods Institute, Chefs Collaborative and at seafood shows.
• Owned channels: With weekly blog posts, bi-monthly e-newsletters and active Facebook and Twitter engagement, LPR has helped build brand awareness, educate about Verlasso’s sustainable practices, and respond to issues to change perceptions.
Since partnering with LPR, Verlasso has earned the coveted “Good Alternative” buy ranking from the Monterey Bay Aquarium® Seafood Watch® program and benefitted from positive news stories in outlets like USA Today and Food & Wine; engaged with sustainability, nutritionist and celebrity trainer influencers; and landed several new retailers and chefs. Because of our work, Verlasso is rarely tagged with farmed salmon legacy issues, having become almost a category in itself.