Sunday, August 7, 2011
Meeting Consumer needs while avoiding submissive yielding
I feel that the delicate balance between meeting consumer expectations in animal agriculture while still protecting practical farming techniques is an issue that takes a great deal of due diligence. In a day and age where public perception is perceived as reality, it is often very easy to over compensate to appease the ever growing need for information that consumers require. I believe that having a positive and active role in education on the practices that animal agriculture uses in conjunction with scientific research has helped and will continue to help the maintenance of this delicate balance. However, I also feel that the extreme submissive and yielding approach to consumer outreach does more damage in the long run. I recently watched a couple of "test messages" from a representative of agriculture. The consumer ratings were the highest on the ones where he sounded incredibly apologetic, much like a kicked puppy wanting to have his ear scratched. To combat this attitude of surrender, I feel all sects of agriculture (animal,row crop and unconventional production) need to continue to train spokespersons, create positive media opportunities, and have a very active presence through social media. I do agree that some admission of past mistakes, like all humility, can go a long way. But this is such a fine line! So how do we do all of this? I think we are doing it through our tweets, face book posts, and you tube videos. But we need to add a little humor, wit and joy for people to actually want to view our messages. (That being said this post has absolutely not humor in it.. ironic? ) Any thoughts?