A survey at the recent Ag Media Summit 2010 in Minnesota indicated that most agri-communication organisations in the US have added social media to their offerings.
Exponent PR surveyed 118 members of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association, Livestock Publications Council and American Business Media Agri-Council.
Three-quarters said they work with social media on a professional level each day, about half reported feeling confident using it in their work. About half of the respondents reported using broadcast skills in traditionally print-only jobs.
Only about half of the respondents believed new media gives communicators an advantage, or that new media has had a positive impact on their jobs.
Tom Lindell, managing director of Exponent, and co-manager of the survey with Exponent counsellor Sara Petersen, said the survey results are another reminder that job responsibilities in business-to-business communications, including the agricultural industry, have changed dramatically and will continue to change.
“It’s up to communicators to improve their skills to meet the demand for faster, better and more accessible information,” said Lindell. “And it’s up to employers to provide employees the tools and training necessary for keeping up, or even better, leading the change.”
Optimism for the future was reflected in the survey. Nearly three-quarters (73%) believe they’ll still be employed in the communications industry in the next five to 10 years (26% of these respondents were under the age of 35). But 79% acknowledged that they’ll need many more skills in order to remain in their professions.
Respondents also worried about budgets (65%), competition for audiences (47%) and the impact of consolidation on the agriculture industry (35%).