“Don’t let another anti-ag article go by without trying to correct it” – these were words shared with the K-State Collegiate Cattlewomen chapter at a media training session put on by the Kansas Beef Council and Kansas Livestock Association. Kevin Thielen and Scarlett Hagins conducted the session and made several key points about being an advocate for the agriculture industry through social media and media interviews.
- Don’t let another article bashing your industry go un-noticed — speak out and stand up
- Use personal stories and humor
- Never repeat any part of a reporter’s question that is negative — if you do, the consumer has just heard a negative comment about agriculture from the reporter AND heard you repeat it. That’s twice
- Utilize facebook, blogs and twitter to reach your audience. Direct people to agricultural articles, show people how to comment on anti-ag propaganda, blog about your personal agricultural experience
- Stay on top of current events – read the paper, subscribe to a daily ag newsletter through email, watch the news at night.
- Have two or three strong talking points about your subject and repeat them – the more the consumer hears them, the better.
- NEVER, EVER say ‘no comment’ or ‘off the record’ — the first admits guilt and the second is nonexistent.
By applying these rules in our everyday advocacy strategies, we prepare ourself for an unexpected interview or question. Being prepared is the first step to being proactive.
Until next time,