The following letter was sent to IntraFish by Katherine Bryar, the Global head of Marketing & Branding for BioMar, in response to the column "Why are these people representing the aquaculture industry," written by Executive Editor John Fiorillo.
When I read your article not as a representative of BioMar but as a marketing, branding and communications professional who has for decades been in the industry working on brands like NZ King Salmon and Atlantic Sapphire, I am disappointed by the piece and our industry’s lack of understanding of the field of marketing and communications.
Unlike you, when I read the lineup for this year’s SXSW, I am excited at the potential for these people to actually influence the audience in a positive way towards aquaculture. These panelists carry a high level of credibility with this audience and have positive views towards aquaculture because of a tireless group of marketing specialists working beneath the surface to promote the benefits of aquaculture.
The industry’s reputation is tarnished. As a marketer, I know that it is highly unlikely that a panel of industry representatives will be able to change "hearts & minds" and are more likely to deliver skepticism amongst this audience.
While industry people certainly will have more knowledge, they lack the same credibility and hence the potential to influence the SXSW audience.
What our industry needs is more "influencers" like Alexandra Cousteau, David Kelley and Chef Andrew Zimmern and more talented food marketing professionals who have the skills and experience to change the reputation of our industry and put aquaculture produce back in the "good food" basket.