Beef Buzz News
Masters of Beef Advocacy Program Holds Great Promise for Users of Social Media
Thu, 10 May 2012 14:52:40 CDT
Ron Hays continues his conversation with Daren Williams about the Masters of Beef Advocacy Program
The Beef Checkoff Masters of Beef Advocacy program has gotten a big boost with its inclusion at the Oklahoma FFA State Convention and in FFA chapters across the state. Daren Williams, dean of the program, says employing the educational program at this level is showing great results.
He recently spoke to Ron Hays about the program’s growth and success. As has been seen in the controversy surrounding Lean Finely Textured Beef, social media is where the public relations battle is increasingly being fought.
“You have a battle, but also an opportunity,” he says. “This is our opportunity to take our story directly to the consumer. It’s a very, very powerful tool to be able to start your own blog which is essentially like your own newspaper or web page. Now, it takes a lot of work, it takes some savvy as to how to really get beyond preaching to the choir and get our message out to consumers but we’ve got some MBA graduates who are doing a wonderful job at it and really are connecting with consumers.”
He says a simple Facebook post with a link to a positive article about beef or correcting misinformation is a very powerful and persuasive tool.
While it can be a powerful force for good, Williams says, we also need to be aware of how much damage social media can do in a very short time. Social media are very long on emotion and very short on logic. He says it shows in the recent case of the ‘pink slime’ hit pieces and the BSE case in California.
“It’s interesting when you compare and contrast it to the recent case of “mad cow” or BSE diagnosed in California. There I see a very really issue, a very legitimate issue, in terms of something we’ve taken very, very seriously for a number of years. We’ve got to keep BSE out of the U.S. cattle herd. We’ve got to make sure we keep it out of the food supply. It absolutely could be the most damaging thing to our industry. Then you have an issue like Lean Finely Textured Beef or pink slime, which is an absolutely perfectly safe, a perfectly wholesome product with no threat to the food supply whatsoever and it almost becomes the bigger issue perception-wise. “
He says today’s young people and their affinity for the new technology and social media will be powerful ambassadors for the beef industry.
This Beef Buzz is the second in a two-part series of interviews Ron Hays conducted with Daren Williams. You can catch the first one by clicking here.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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