Get Out of the Echo Chamber

Prairie Gleanings

Let's be mindful of our target audience for ag issues. Hint: it's not the ones who already agree with us.

Published on: April 1, 2010

A lot of you are probably familiar with Humane Watch, which is an effort of the Center For Consumer Freedom. This clever group is striking back at the Humane Society of the United States' where it hurts most -- the pocketbook.


Last week, I got the opportunity to sit down with one of the group's leaders David Martosko, who is their director of research. Martosko showed me and several farmers a host of videos, news bits and print ads as part of their campaign to fight the HSUS agenda.


In discussing their efforts, we eventually came to the topic of social media. For those on Facebook, you've probably seen Humane Watch's meteoric rise in popularity. As of this blog's publication date, they were at 12,100 fans. Quite impressive. Especially when you consider the group was started just a few months ago.


While Facebook is a great tool, Martosko says so far it's been more of an "echo chamber" than anything else. He notes that most of the fans already agree with Humane Watch's efforts. He's more concerned with reaching out to the folks who are still in the dark about HSUS. Thus, the recent advertisements in USA Today and The New York Times.


Martosko's point is one we need to follow. A letter to the editor regarding HSUS' money-swindling agenda would have more impact in one of the state's regional newspapers (like the Bloomington Pantagraph) rather than Prairie Farmer.

For that matter, it's a good lesson for any ag-related items, not just animal rights. Whether it's cap and trade or corn-based ethanol, let's try to get our message out to the folks who don't necessarily agree with us.


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