ACDC News – Issue 99-12

1998-1999 Ag Media Report added to ACDC collection.

This report highlights results of telephone interviews with 2,443 farmers in the U.S. with farm income of $40,000+. The study, sponsored by the National Association of Farm Broadcasters, featured three waves of interviews during April 1998, September 1998 and February 1999.

Findings identify farm publications read, radio listening, television viewing, electronic data service usage, Internet usage and kinds of information that farmers need and want.

Title to request: “Ag Media Report 1998-1999”

Are agricultural communicators really listening?

Julie Gay asked this question in a recent issue of the Agricultural Relations Council newsletter, ARCLight. She observed that in agribusiness communications the farmer’s voice is being repeatedly filtered. “Typically one farmer message must go through the following filters,” she explained.

  1. Local dealer
  2. District manager
  3. Sales and/or marketing manager
  4. Market research firm
  5. Market research telephone surveyor
  6. Communications agency account supervisor
  7. Communications agency account executive
  8. Communications agency creative staff
  9. Communications agency media director
  10. Top decision maker in client company

“How many of these 10 filters have actually talked to the farmer?” she asked. She said the accuracy of market research also needs to come into question because “farmers aren’t necessarily telling the truth when they answer the phone call, or fill out the form” …and “women…aren’t counted.” She believes it isn’t clear what will be needed to hear the farmer voice.

Recent references about crisis communication.

Following are several documents that provide useful background information and detailed procedures related to the growing interest in risk communication. You can see them on the AgriFood Risk Management and Communication web site or check with us.

  • “An introduction to risk communication and the perception of risk” (1996)
  • “Crisis response and communication planning manual” (1999)
  • “Crisis response and communication planning workbook” (1999)

GMO issues stirring media reports on food safety.

Here are some of the documents added to the ACDC collection during recent weeks from media coverage of this issue. You can use these titles to search for the sources or to request help from us in getting access to them.

  • “The biotech rumor mill”
  • “Protest may mow down trend to alter crops. Biotech: public outcry over genetically modified foods has the agricultural industry backpedaling”
  • “Biotechnology companies face new foe: the Internet”
  • “Consumer attitudes toward food biotechnology – Wirthlin Group Quorum surveys”
  • “Smoke and mirrors about genetic food labelling”
  • “Shoppers ‘need more assurance over food safety’”
  • “GMO labelling issue may seem funny in retrospect”

How biotech companies can ensure that consumers won’t accept their products.

Conrad Brunk, dean and professor of philosophy at the University of Waterloo, Canada, offered these tips during his presentation at the recent International Molecular Farming Conference in London:

  • Tell the public that there’s no risk with the products.
  • Cut funding to agencies which regulate the products.
  • Have a bad incident to discredit the product, which should results in a trust problem.
  • Deprive people of their control of the risk, such as opposing labelling. That creates the view that one is being exposed to an involuntary risk.
  • Create the perception that others than the risk bearers will benefit, such as that the profits from the sale of the products go to large multi-national corporations or that the products benefit the bottom lines of farmers.
  • Label critics as paranoid trouble makers.

Author and title of reference: John Greig, “The biotech equation now involves scientists, patients and grandmothers”

Working on a grant proposal related to agricultural communications?

Let us know if we can help you carry out a literature review of the subject matter involved in your proposal.

Whoa, Bessie.

The Ottawa (Canada) Citizen is carrying lively discussion about a decision by the Central Experimental Farm’s decision to stop naming its cows after women. According to a news report of October 11, “In the face of the public’s ire with the new policy, staff at the Agricultural Museum have been told not to discuss the cow-naming controversy.”

Professional meetings approaching.

Here are the approaching meetings of several professional agricultural communicator organizations:

November 10-14
Annual conference, National Association of Farm Broadcasters, at Westin Crown Center, Kansas City, Missouri.

Best regards and good searching.

Please let us know if we can help you find information and/or if you can suggest documents that we might add to this collection.

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