Working with the media to share agriculture’s real story

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There are so many ways to share the good word about Canadian agriculture. One important opportunity that we often forget is to engage the traditional media.

Thanks to social media, everyone is a broadcaster, and a sensational story can travel the globe with the click of a “Share” or “Retweet” button.

That can be good news and bad news all at the same time. Because while it’s easy to share ag’s real, positive story, it’s just as easy for false perceptions and misinformation to spread. That makes it even more important to join the conversation – and to use the right tools for the job.

The media, both ag-focused and mainstream, is a trusted source of information. Building strong relationships with media professionals can help you bring your side of the story to light. In her recent webinar, “Can I quote you on that?” media maven Lyndsey Smith provides a few tips for doing exactly that:

  • Be helpful by offering to be a resource or providing background information on the issue at hand – even if you don’t like the original story
  • Do your homework before pitching a story to make sure you have what a journalist needs to tell the story (visuals, sound bites, potential interviews)
  • Be easy to reach so that they call you first when they’re looking for the real facts
  • Develop interview skills by taking a media training course – it’s amazing how many grower and commodity groups offer them.
  • Of course, doing an interview for the 6:00 news isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok. What’s really important is that you find your groove and get involved. And there are plenty of ways: blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube — if you’re into photography, start an Instagram account. It all helps.

Want to know more? Check out our Ag Conversations page.

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