Strategic. Decisive. Pivotal. Urgent.
To be all of these words, you need to know where you’re going. Perhaps even have a game plan on how to get there. In lecture on Monday in my Multimedia Journalism class we had a few guest speakers on different tracks we can follow for our studies in the J School. One of them was the Strategic Communications track.
I decided on this track to be the one I follow after understanding what a strategic communicator does, which is to communicate over a short or long span of time with goals, strategies and an idea which they can manipulate to serve their audience or client to reach their ideal audience. Basically, we want to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Now how does the start comm track relate to my major, science and agricultural journalism? –It relates perfectly.
In agriculture and science, we have menu controversial topics hitting the news at all times. We often get bashed by consumer reports and critics, who enjoy telling us how to do our job. We are bashed by criticism by those who do not support our industry and questioned by those who are unsure. We need a strategic communications plan in the agriculture industry. We have to analyze our audience, develop a purpose to communicate, and ensure that our audience understands what we are talking about.
Our audience is often lost by the jargon and terms we use and different practices they misunderstand. My goal as a future strategic communicator is to 1.) tell our story (as if you haven’t heard this one ;] ) 2.) and tell this story with clarity so it is transparent for any consumer to understand. I completely understand the importance of slowing down and taking the time to help others grasp the purpose of our industry.
Honestly, I feel like we lack support because we are not willing to slow down and take the time to explain what we do and how we do it, especially the most important one WHY we do these things we do here in ag! We would have many more supporters of our products and our industry if we took the time to share our love and passion with them and slow our roll to help them grasp our complicated tasks and responsibilities.
In reality, they don’t understand. In reality, it’s mostly our fault.
Thank goodness for strat comm. Strategtic Communications is the most important track here in the Missouri School of Journalism. That means we will have many students willing to work to communicate effectively to consumers all around the world–now the hard part–helping them understand agriculture too and trusting them to tell our story. Many of my ag journalism friends are strat comm because they recognize the need and importance of this track. I look forward to starting these classes in the fall and hope to prepare myself to tell the world about agriculture in the future.
Check out Buzzard’s Beat Blog for some cool agricultural topics going on!