Posts Tagged With: Facebook

A Visit with Dairy Carrie

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.

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Ozarks Farm and Neighbor utilizes Social Media

During last week’s PR in Ag class at Missouri State University, Lynzee Glass, the editor of Ozarks Farm and Neighbor, came to speak. She informed us about some of the social media techniques that Ozarks Farm and Neighbor. The Ozarks Farm and Neighbor is a livestock and farm oriented paper that has an estimated 58,000 readers. The papers are distributed throughout southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas, and eastern Oklahoma. Some of the social media techniques they use include: Facebook, Twitter, and the Ozarks Farm and Neighbor website. They use these as a way to reach a younger audience as well as to keep their name out in front of the public and get instant feedback.

The steps towards these social media outlets took a while to get underway. The Ozarks Farm and Neighbor started with their website as they realized that many people today get on the internet to look at stories to find out more information over a variety of issues. Therefore, they put small snippets from their paper on their website to encourage readers to buy a subscription to their paper to be able to read the full story. They also have an online paper that their customers are able to access with a code on their paper or if new readers want to subscribe and read it online. In 2009 Ozarks Farm and Neighbor decided to join Facebook as there are a number of businesses that receive recognition through this social media outlet. It has been slow to get followers due to not being updated as much as it should have been when they first started it, but since then they have been posting more regularly. This too can contain snippets from their paper so that people might be intrigued by a story and want to go read the rest in the paper whether. This has also allowed them to gain more followers. Then in summer of 2013 they joined Twitter. Twitter was a great way for Ozarks Farm and Neighbor to be seen as well as be able to connect with other organizations. Many times the paper helps promote some organizations, for example breed associations, through their stories. Therefore, Twitter allows them the opportunity to be able to connect with the organizations so that they can see some of their work.

Social Media has changed their business by allowing them to connect to a younger audience since many of their paper readers range from the age of 35 to 64. It also allows them to stay out in front of the audience more and be seen more often. It has not changed their business too much as a majority of their readers still receive and read the actual paper, but it has helped them branch out. It has changed the way they share information as they can post some things on the social media sites that they may not put in their paper. Being online also allows them to get more timely feedback of any changes or additions that some people may want to see in the paper. It also helps the Ozarks Farm and Neighbor get news out more effectively as it can be posted about as the event is taking place rather than waiting three weeks to read about it. Overall it has helped draw in a younger crowd and gives them another outlet to get word about their paper to the general public.

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