As you read chapter 19, did you consider organizations you currently belong to? Think of an organization you currently belong to now. How do you know it is, in fact, an organization and not just a group of people? What agricultural groups can you identify that do not meet the definition of an organization. What makes them groups of people instead of organizations?
Chapter 23 explored integrated marketing communications (IMC), which is a concept/theory that can be applied to multiple organizational communication practices. It is a model that a myriad of organizations consider as they audit or reorganize their communication efforts. Think back to one of the organizations you identified. Is IMC a good model of communication for this organization to follow in its relationships with its various stakeholders? What benefits are there for the organization to utilize IMC? Are there any possibilities for disadvantages from using IMC?
Technology continues to affect the way we communicate in agriculture. As a result, communication theory helps to explain how technology aids or hinders communication. As you read this week’s chapter, I am sure you reflected on how communication affects your life. How important has the fifth function of the media, that of social interaction, become in your day-to-day use of the media? How can agricultural communicators utilize the fifth function of media?
We have discussed computer-mediated communication (CMC) before, but this chapter brings it to the forefront of the discussion. I am personally interested in how new and social media alter communication in agriculture. I believe there are multiple opportunities for agriculturalists to use CMC to connect with the public in a meaningful way. I am a part of a couple of grant projects that seek to teach agriculturalists to utilize new and social media to market their businesses. One of these projects is Beyond The Farm Gate.
We have seen the Peterson brothers utilize CMC to connect with people across the country and bloggers like Debbie Lyons-Blythe share the experiences of the agricultural community with moms across the county. What other ways have you seen CMC utilized effectively by the agricultural community? Where have you seen room for improvement? What theory from this week’s reading do you see in action in the CMC use in the agricultural industry?
I imagine that this week’s readings were of great interest to you, as much of the discussion on the blog has focused on how we can better understand the general public’s perceptions and attitudes toward agriculture. Agenda setting is an interesting theory that applies to so much of what we do in agricultural communications. The three agendas of media, public, and political are areas of deep concern for agricultural communications professionals. Think about the reason you turned on the television or surfed the Internet most recently. What use were you intending when you initially began using the medium? Was it entertainment, information, or perhaps explanation you were seeking? Did the media affect you in obvious ways you were not originally seeking? Can you imagine any subliminal effects you may have experienced without realizing it at the time? How can we use your answers to these questions and the theories from the chapter this week to address concerns of agricultural literacy in the general public?
One of the common ways the public hears about agriculture is during a food crisis like in the Barr, Irlbeck and Akers article in JAC we read this week. These authors chose framing as the theoretical/conceptual framework for their study. What other theories in this week’s reading would have implications for this study or future studies of food crises?
The Goodwin, Chiarelli, and Irani study also utilized framing. What differences did you see in the way the researchers applied the theory? If you were to conduct a follow-up study based on these authors’ research, what type of study would you conduct? Which theory would you chose to guide the study?
One of the topics we continue to discuss with great passion, is the need for a better message on behalf of U.S. farmers. The agricultural community is not the only one who thinks so. A story by NPR concluded that the message of “we feed the world” is no longer a message that resonates with the American public. The story cites a survey where consumers were ask if they think the U.S. even has a responsibility to provide food to the rest of the world. Only 13 percent of these consumers strongly agreed. Additionally, the article mentions focus groups where people said that if feeding the world means more industrial-scale farming, they’re not comfortable with it.
I guess I am not surprised by this, but I think most farmers will be. This is a message that agricultural producers announce loudly and proudly. How does this message continue despite consumers not relating to it? Is this a form of groupthink? Agriculturalists like this message; but if the public doesn’t, how do we change it? What did you learn in this week’s readings related to group communication that might offer suggestions to help? Are there theories of interpersonal communication at play here too?
Think about a specific group you are involved with. What symbols does this group use that have specific meaning for your group. Do these carry a different meaning for outsiders in the way the “feed the world” message does? Which stage of Tuckman’s model do you think your group (has) reached? Does your group have the four requisite functions of effective decision-making? How could knowledge of rules and resources help members of your group be more strategic in reaching the goals and objectives of the group?
The theories in the book related to group communication have underlying assumptions that group decisions are better than individual decisions and that some form of conflict (storming, direct discussion of issues, etc.) is helpful for these decisions. Do you agree with both of these assumptions? Why or why not?
Happy Labor Day. You certainly are not expected to read or comment on this on the holiday. However, I thought I would go ahead and post in case some of you wanted to use your day off to post.
You may have noticed that I did not respond to your posts in week 2. I may pop in and comment to make clarifications in discussions, but I will predominantly let the discussion happen among you from here on out.
Today, I want to talk about why you should care about agricultural communication research. You clearly care at least a little about agricultural communication research and theory or you wouldn’t be in this class. I know this week’s readings may not have been page turners, but chapters two and three of your text provide some important foundation information for how we will investigate theory in agricultural communication.
As we discuss the importance of agricultural communication research, it is difficult to separate the values we associate with agricultural communication research. It is important for researchers to strive for a lack of biases in their research. A lack of biases make research and theory more valuable. However, as we have discussed agricultural communication is an applied discipline. We conduct research and build theory in order to solve problems in agricultural communication. Based on chapter two of your text and my discussion here, what axiological view does agricultural communication research take? Is this a positive or negative thing?
In agricultural communication, we often seek to address research questions or objectives through an epistemological lens. We try to understand how people know or don’t know about agriculture and its value in our society. We often research methods for exposing people to agricultural knowledge and understanding in explicit and tacit ways. As we try to understand how people respond to agriculture and policy related to agriculture and natural resources, we regularly investigate phenomenons and human decisions related to those. Critical theories seek to change the world, which is something we often try to do in agricultural communication, I believe figure 2.4 in your text describes this process well and will help you understand theories as we discuss them.
The terms in chapter 3 are important for understanding and interpreting research. I don’t intend to repeat all of the terms here, but know they are an important foundation as we continue to explore theory. Let me pose a few more questions for our class discussion. How might someone develop a campaign to improve agriculture’s public image from a scientific/objective paradigm approach? How would this campaign look if designed according to a humanistic/subjective approach? How would you operationalize the concept of agriculture’s public image in order to conduct a quantitative survey?