Forums » COVID-19 Roundtable

Seafood and Creativity = Opportunity Now!

    • 1114 posts
    April 10, 2020 3:02 PM PDT
    The closure of restaurants across America has led to a precipitous decline in deliveries of fresh seafood, putting that industry in dire straits.  According to a recent article:
    • As statewide mandates force many restaurants and foodservice operations to temporarily shut down, the seafood industry is severely hurting. Fishermen and dealers are working on looking for new markets to sell in and have asked the federal government for assistance. 
    • Bert Jongerden, general manager of a Maine auction house Portland Fish Exchange, told the Associated Press that the market for higher-end products like scallops and lobster is "pretty much nonexistent." The Exchange typically moves up to 60,000 pounds of fish per week but has plummeted to less than a third of that.
    • To get more consumers to eat seafood, a new group of 19 organizations called the The Seafood4Health Action Coalition launched a consumer-facing campaign called "Eat Seafood, America!” this week to push consumers to stay healthy by eating more seafood and therefore boosting the U.S. seafood economy, according to an email sent to Food Dive. 
    Radio station sales teams are looking for opportunities to create markets for their local advertisers and I see one here, to benefit not only the seafood industry but various local business categories, as well. For example:
    • Local grocery stores have meat and seafood managers who are connected to industry wholesalers and distributors. They can take advantage of a buyer's market to bring in "Seafood Road Show" type events, allowing customers to buy fresh seafood at attractive prices.
    • Stores that sell barbecue grills and accessories can promote the enjoyment of grilling seafood at home, provide their favorite seafood BBQ recipes, and offer free delivery and set-up of new grills purchased.
    • Restaurants that are offering delivery and takeout can participate by featuring their own special seafood dishes.
    • Hospitals and others in the health/fitness/nutrition arena can take advantage of opportunities to educate and engage community members on the health benefits of adding more seafood to our diets. Nutrition outreaches are often part of a hospital's core offerings. (I know this to be true, having recently completed a series of four spots derived from interviews with our own local hospital's registered dieticians; the spots were intended for broadcast in March, National Nutrition Month, but got shelved for the time being in favor of COVID-19 content.) Listeners still need basic health and nutrition information, and such an effort might provide welcome relief from the nonstop onslaught of coronavirus stories.
    • Independent delivery services, such as Door Dash, Grubhub, and Mr. Delivery, can put their services in the spotlight with seafood-themed messages. Radio is perfectly positioned to propel TOMA for these services.
    Creativity is defined in various ways. Only God can create something from nothing. We humans have to work with existing materials or ideas. So for me, creativity is finding new ways to combine existing opportunities in a new and useful way. The coronavirus pandemic is sparking creativity in beneficial and sometimes surprising ways. 
    • A young man in our community comes up with a simple design for a face shield and shares it on YouTube. Hospital workers gather around a table and assemble 70 of these masks in one morning. Other volunteers are making face masks for healthcare workers and first responders.
    • Churches closed for corporate worship find new ways to celebrate Easter with their congregations, turning to social media and mass media to stand in the gap; some radio stations are broadcasting church services remotely, and local businesses are sponsoring those broadcasts.
    • Restaurants, unsure of day-to-day demand for their meals, make use of perishable products by cooking free meals for community members each day; those who miss out one day are put at the top of the list for the following day's distribution. Others set aside one day when everyone eats free or by donation to help pay for meals the next week.
    • People used to "socializing" by staring at screens are rediscovering a lost art—conversation—connecting by telephone, Skype, and Zoom. The spoken word is gaining new devotees, connecting more people in their confinement, and reminding us of the words of Helen Keller: "Blindness separates us from things; deafness separates us from people." 
    Radio has been connecting people for 100 years. We are the only go-anywhere, pure audio mass medium; we are unique in all the world of media. Today, we're perfectly positioned to provide positive solutions for some of the most pressing problems people are facing. It's our golden opportunity to rise and shine. Let's get creative!