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Selling Wild-Caught Shrimp
On September 6, 2005, the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began pumping floodwater from Hurricane Katrina
back into Lake Pontchartrain after seven days in the streets of New Orleans.
The national and international media coverage of the Hurricane’s aftermath
quickly focused on water quality and safety, not just in the Lake but also
the Gulf of Mexico. After the 2004 Asian tsunami, similar circumstances
resulted in Asian seafood prices plummeting by as much as half and sales
falling by thirty percent overnight.
Wild American Shrimp, Inc. relied
upon Cohesive Communications to manage the crisis and prevent
an unnecessary drop in the demand for wild-caught, U.S. shrimp.
This was achieved by informing the media, retailers, and consumers
about actions taken by the U.S. shrimp industry and government
agencies to secure the food supply and recover from the dramatic
devastation. Within a very limited budget, Cohesive Communications
coordinated state and federal government officials, industry representatives
and academic experts to address the issues with the same, reassuring
and informative messages. Whether it was the web-accessible
press conferences, frequent releases on preventative measures
and test results, or just the image of a hurricane-affected shrimp
processor preparing and serving his shrimp on CNN, it worked.
Shrimpers report that demand for Wild American Shrimp® is
at an all-time high even after the destructive 2005 hurricane
The Public Relations Society
of America-Kansas Chapter awarded Cohesive Communications the
state's highest honor for crisis communications--a Clarus Award--for
the management of this situation.