( National Watermelon Promotion Board )

The National Watermelon Promotion Board, Winter Springs, Fla., has replaced a planned event in New York City with three virtual events promoting watermelon to food media and influencers.

The board spent weeks meeting with media contacts from publications when much of the country was under shelter in place orders because the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release. The goal for the board, according to the release, was to create a virtual free event to create content and excitement about watermelon and extend the appeal of the fruit year-round.

“We confirmed attendees across the country, rather than have to only host those based in the New York City area,” Stephanie Barlow, senior director of communications for the board, said in the release. “We sent out custom curated watermelon boxes with a mix of items related to each class and related to our brand,” she said, noting that the items included a logoed chef’s apron and a new kitchen knife, a cocktail shaker and more. 

“The boxes generated excitement and enthusiasm for the classes, and each one was well attended... with the cameras turned on!” Barlow said in the release. 

The board met with 60 food editors, writers and dietitians, according to the release.

“To date, we have nearly 40 social media posts and 15 articles covering these events, which wasn’t even one of the main strategies but it is additional earned content on their personal influencer networks,” Barlow said in the release. “We look forward to building long lasting partnerships with writers and their publications in the coming year.”

For more information, including recipes, nutrition information and usage ideas, visit Watermelon.org. 

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