The council also placed banner advertisements in six EatingWell electronic newsletters, Villata said. There also is an editorial piece on the EatingWell webpage “Blueberries Healthy Food Guide” with nutritional information, shopping and storage tips, and recipes.
Social media sites Facebook and Twitter deliver the blueberry message to other audiences. The council’s Facebook page (http://bit.ly/facebookblueberries) had been “liked” by nearly 7,800 people as of mid-July.
The site contains recipes, photos and links to the council’s website, where visitors can enter recipe contests.
The July contest, Kids-Love-Blueberries Recipe Contest, offers a $500 first-place prize and five $250 runners-up prizes for simple kid-friendly recipes. Another contest is planned for September, but the theme hadn’t been determined as of mid-July, Lowenberg said.
The council’s Twitter account, blueberry411, had about 1,200 followers as of mid-July. The recipe contests also are announced on Twitter.
“We’re trying to create a buzz in social media through a variety of ways,” Lowenberg said.
In late May, the council distributed a summer press kit to about 800 lifestyle and food editors at newspapers throughout the U.S., Blake said. The kit contained a CD-ROM with blueberry resources for journalists, including recipes and a photo library.
The CD is updated annually with new recipes, information and photos, Lowenberg said. By July, there had been 150 related placements in print versions of newspapers.
“We expect 10 (million) to 15 million impressions from one press kit,” she said.
The council also is a sponsor of a television and radio media tour of 11 major metropolitan areas, including Minneapolis, Chicago, Phoenix and Denver.
The theme for the tour is “Lighten up Your Summertime BBQ,” Lowenberg said. A pair of registered dietitians goes on air to prepare barbecue-themed recipes, including a blueberry parfait. Lewis & Neale does press outreach year-round on behalf of the council, Blake said.
The council recently started a promotion with McCormick & Schmick’s seafood restaurants, Villata said. The 88-unit chain from through Sept. 30 features a blueberry cocktail and blueberry cheesecake as seasonal specials, Blake said. The council’s logo is on table tent signs advertising the items and on menu inserts.
Lewis & Neale also works on behalf of the council with dining services companies such as New York-based Restaurant Associates, a subsidiary of foodservice company Compass Group, The Americas Division, Lowenberg said.