In my PR in Ag class this fall semester at Missouri State University we were assigned to create a blog and to blog once a week. I did not have any previous experience with creating a blog before this class, so it was all new to me. When first coming up with a title and tag line it was a bit challenging as my creative streak comes and goes. I wanted something that would relate to the country, the farm, and the way I live my life. This is why it became titled “Kickin it in the Sticks”. It was been an interesting road and I have somewhat enjoyed it. I like being able to write things that other people may enjoy as well. However, coming up with some topics to write about every week was somewhat challenging to me. I believe blogging is a very special tool to be utilized. It does hold a great purpose for those interested in the social media outlet. It is any easy way to get your personal story out to millions of people in a very easy way. Through this assignment I have gained knowledge in how to become a blogger and how to appeal to the readers. Although to be more appealing it is important to just remain yourself and write from the heart. I also learned if you say anything in a way that may be taking wrong or negatively and could potentially get out of control. It is important for you to keep up with the blog and to be sure the story goes across clearly. According to Dairy Carrie snarky blogs are not necessarily a bad thing either. The have meaning and may reach the people that need to read them. They may also draw in attention from the higher people you are talking to and get a message back. It is a great feeling to get a comment or even a like on the blog. It gives a feeling of satisfaction, that someone else thinks the way you do and enjoys hearing what you say. I hope all that that have kept up with this blog and have read my stories has enjoyed it. That is the true meaning of blogging. I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about blogging through this assignment and I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to be able to write stories that mean something to me and hopefully tell my story for others to hear and enjoy as well. It was also interesting to learn about other social media outlets such as Twitter, Linkedin, and the use of wikis. Thank you to all who have read this blog!
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Carrie Mess also known as Dairy Carrie talked to our PR in Ag class. She is a Wisconsin dairy farmer and writes the Dairy Carrie blog, facebook, and twitter. She got started blogging two years ago. Carrie didn’t originally grow up on a farm. She grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. When she went to high school they didn’t have FFA and were just starting a few animal science classes. She took those and viewed herself as more of a horse chick. She married into a dairy farm family. They have about 100 cows on 300 acres, which is the average size of a Wisconsin dairy. She first started her writing with facebook. She then jumped into twitter, because when they moved to the farm she had another business and wanted to be able to promote it through the twitter social media outlet. While on twitter she found a lot of other farmers. She saw it as a great resource for learning and was also new to the farm and dairy way of life. About that same time there was a group forming the Ag Chat Foundation. Carrie has been a part of it since it started. It is a place for farmers to tell their stories as well as a tool to teach people how to use social media tools to tell their own story. After the first ag chat is when she decided to launch her blog. After about two years once launching her blog she has had around two thousand views.
One of her first blogs was done over a hay drive she was trying to help get started to help get semi loads of hay south. They got hay and money donated and ended up shipping seven loads from all over the country to send south to states like Texas. They also got donations from bands such as Randy Rogers and Cross Canadian Ragweed. One of her next blogs that got a big hit was a letter that she wrote to Ryan Gosling about dehorning and PETA. She said polled was a great option, although the gene pool can be small and you don’t want cousin to cousin marriage. Her “snarky” side came out as she called it.
Another hit blog was that about Panera Bread and their marketing campaign about serving antibiotic free chicken. She is not for this nor how they displayed a pill shaped chicken named lazy. They used this form of advertisement to try and say that farmers who use antibiotics are lazy. Needless to say she wrote another snarky letter. About twenty minutes later her phone started ringing and her post was going viral. Forty eight hours later and Panera virally stated an apology for their ad as well as to her personally. She was amazed and never though that would happen.
Her latest blog has been about the North Dakota blizzard. The UK newspaper picked up that post and had about half a million views. Her blog also had over one thousand views. Carrie will tell you that she is not a polished writer and the blog turned into a thing all on its own. She says that it is neat and she likes it. She also has an advantage in understanding how “city” people think as she was once one herself. She says that they aren’t uneducated and do not need people to educate them. They do however need to hear our stories and let them speak for the industry.
When she focused on PR she said for it to be right you don’t want to send out a message that can be taken several different ways. You need to be able to control your messages. However, with social media it isn’t about controlling the message but about being a part of the conversation. It is a more relaxed area to talk and needs to be more human like, not too stuffy. Some of her final advice was to write from your heart and in your own style.