FluffyCows & Golden Opportunities

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Perhaps you’ve seen the internet sensation about Fluffy Cows. Many who have grown up around agriculture know them as market steers, club calves – beef! But the public has hit on it as something they weren’t aware of – and it’s opened doors. Or has it? What if it’s rabbits tomorrow? Can we stand the pressure? Not if we don’t prepare *now*!

Stay with me here folks! What seems like a great opportunity to talk about beef, livestock and agriculture is, for some, a huge opportunity to not just shoot themselves in the foot but set off a trip wire. We can change the conversation – we can teach people – or we can insult them and drive them away. Which would you do? Are you sure?

Let’s take some lessons on examples. Beef magazine questions whether it’s a good thing.

We need to refocus the message on the online forums and news stories reporting about “fluffy cows.” We need to introduce ourselves as the ranchers behind the beef consumers love and put the spotlight on the farm families in this industry.

Now this is a farm that’s been selling show stock, fitted for fairs, many pictures online. Not unlike show animals of any species. Someone saw it, and it went viral. This farm has been cast into viral publicity, the subject of television media, celebrity blog posts and much attention. They put some shirts up on their store – the first 50 were gone in 9 minutes! What a “problem” to have right? What an opportunity!

The farm itself knows there’s groups watching. PeTA is asking how people can eat those cute fluffy cows. Right next to the mashed potatoes or fries perhaps?

Phil Lautner tells BEEF Daily, “We are very vigilant that anti-animal agriculture groups try to turn conversations negative. With the #FluffyCow phenomenon it is our mission to keep the conversation about youth, family involvement and production. We feel it’s necessary to try and educate others about our way of life and what animal production is.”

MoreThan-1_0This is a fantastic example of taking a risk, reframing it, taking control and *using it*! It’s an awesome example of not letting others tell anyone what you do, or use your message for their use. They took the hash tag, a Facebook page and are leveraging to use it to teach much more than cute cows.

At the same time it’s concerning to see the negativity, not from vegans or animal rights but from within the agriculture community. How would you feel to hear or see something like city people are so stupid for not knowing these things – that city person that just bought burgers for the family?

Then there’s comments of how do they taste and more:

I didn’t know that they had cow show like they do dog shows.

“The cows, a cross between high-quality breeds”. Yum!!!

With all the beauty aids you spray, rub, comb in and wash these cows with, is the meat safe to eat?

They really have a show for each animal now, don’t they?

This is an ideal way to reach the public. With a Facebook page there is a contact point.

How can this be used for rabbits. Rex. Mini Rex. Show rabbits. Show and function. Rabbits are multipurpose and in a prime spot. We never now what will trip the public interest. But one thing is for sure – with beef shows in every state fair and most county fairs, if folks don’t know about them, they don’t know rabbits are shown too.

Don’t condemn them. Educate. Have a conversation. Teach them. Take some time with those folks with questions at the next show, or if you’re on the way to the ring say that nicely! “I’m sorry I need to get these rabbits to the show table – could you follow me or check back in a little bit?”

Fair season is coming. Publicity comes around and we can either use the example of this farm, or let the power be taken from us in the media. We better hope that we’re all half as prepared as this show cattle place! Watch and learn, take part in the conversation.

Pick out good examples and what not to do. It’s not rabbits in the spotlight, but we can sure learn by example what to do and what not to do.

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Promoting Not Detracting

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Most people promoting rabbits do so because of a genuine love of the animal. It might be a particular breed, or for meat rabbits, or for functional versatility or show – but when you have a versatile, meat producing animal that can fit in a small area and do so cost effectively it pays to promote!

Of course some find promotion to entail tearing down other forms of agriculture or other hobbies. Why is this bad? It not only can erode the confidence in rabbits but insulting competitors can bite back.

Consider “Sue” standing up at a fair loudly telling a crowd “rabbits are the BEST meat and you don’t have to worry about all the hormones and poisons in the meat” – then wondering why she can’t find hay to buy. That beef farmer has a barn full but won’t sell to her. And when she has manure to get rid of it piles up because no one wants it – it becomes a waste instead of valued fertilizer. Her frustration increases when a hog farmer picks up a load of manure from “Jill” across town, who never has a problem finding hay. She works with local farms to network without publicly insulting her ‘competitors’. In turn they welcome her manure for their fields, her neighbors don’t know she has rabbits as her barn is clean, and another farmer is glad to part with some hay to help her out and increase his cash flow with a direct sale. The fact is all meat has hormones, and none is sold with “poisons”…representing that it does makes it seem that rabbit meat won’t stand on its own as a healthy, lean alternative to other meats. We know the truth!

Promotion shouldn’t put down other breeders, other parts of agriculture or other types of management. Find a means to use words and phrases to tell our good points without running others down. If there are no good points to talk about then change it!

Keep it positive – take the high road.

AgChat Foundation Conference

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Want to learn effective ways to communicate? How to reach others about your rabbits without biosecurity issues? Check out the August 2011 conference – apply and be prepared to find many ways to use social media as a low cost promotional tool!

The Main Things to Consider When Writing Press Releases

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Author: andy2007

Letterhead

Create a company letterhead for the press release. Use either standard letter (8″ x 11”) or legal (8″ x 14″) paper for the purpose. The name of the organization, address, telephone number, fax and e-mail should be clearly visible at the top left of the letterhead. The words “Press Release” should be located at the top right. Ensure the name and contact information (address, telephone / fax number and e-mail address) of the person dealing with the press release, are also included. This gives journalists a specific contact point, if requiring further details.

Content and Structure

A conspicuous headline should catch the attention of the reader. It must present a stimulating idea, in appropriate language, which encourages the reader to continue with the remainder of the piece. The first subheading of your press release, if necessary, should follow. Give more information designed to hold the interest and encourage a desire to read further. However, don’t reveal all the interesting information at this stage.

The Body of the Press Release

The main part of your writing should contain a brief synopsis of the topic. Use short, clear, snappy sentences that are easy to comprehend. Build up the attention-grabbing features of your piece to a thrilling climax. Finish off with quotes from people who have encountered products or services. This adds trustworthiness and corroborates claims. Generally, “###”, indicates to journalists the end of the release. If your release is longer than one page, write “MORE” at the bottom of the first page, and repeat the title and date on the second page.

Conclusion

Constructing a press release is not as complicated as it may sound. Most press releases are at most two pages long. Standard press release format is appropriate for virtually any purpose. It is crucial to have a striking, eye-catching headline. Focus on facts and be succinct when detailing product advantages. Also avoid using unoriginal phrases to generate interest; if anything, they are likely to have the opposite effect. A well-presented, attention-grabbing press release is far more likely to be noticed by the media, and to have the desired effect on the audience at which it is directed.

Source: Free Articles

About the Author

Andy Edwards is a freelance researcher and writer specialising in consumer, finance and business subjects. For further information and a definition of press release see dictionary.co.uk, the People’s Dictionary which aims to track the change in the English language – and allows you to to be part of it. Dictionary.co.uk is owned by ValueClick, one of the world`s largest online marketing firms.

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