Most people fall into one of two categories when it comes to watching the Super Bowl: Those who love the game and those who tune in simply for the commercials. Either way, companies spend millions of dollars each year crafting advertising campaigns to help sell their products to a specific audience during this exclusive time frame. The campaigns are successful because not only are they viewed by nearly 90 million people watching the game, but you can bet that on the Monday after the Super Bowl, people are still talking about the commercials and are surfing the Internet to find their favorites.
As agriculture educators, we need to learn to model our marketing and advocacy approaches after these companies. Obviously, spending millions of dollars is out of the question, but you can tailor your marketing and advocacy endeavors to meet the needs of the audiences you are trying to attract, like soda and car advertisers do with the Super Bowl. How perfect would it be to give a presentation to your local school board that leaves them wanting to know more about your program? How about developing a “commercial” for the morning announcements that is so inviting to the student body they are stopping by the agriculture department to check out the opportunities available? What about the development of a monthly newsletter that speaks to the parents about getting involved in your program? These are just a few examples of what you can do to help market your program. But it is not necessarily how you get the message across that should be your focus; it should be the message that you are conveying. This is the information that will leave your audience wanting to know more or how they can get involved.
The key ingredient to making any marketing or advocacy program a success is not only knowing the audience that you are addressing, but also knowing the product you are marketing. As educators, the product that is our greatest asset is the success of the students we teach. It is important to make sure that the students are utilized and that they have the opportunity to be spokespersons for the chapter. Testimonials from your students will make the greatest impact for your program, as they take on the role of marketer. However, it is your job to help prepare them to be advocates for agricultural education and FFA. LifeKnowledge® has a few lessons that are a natural fit to help you prepare your students to be successful advocates for your program. Check out this lesson:
Other lessons you might also want to consider to help prepare your students are:
- AHS.49 Promoting FFA—Opening Doors
- HS.21 Positive and Negative Influence
- HS.87 Developing Workshops Using the Magic Formula
- HS.88 Using Key Messages
- HS.90 Presentation tips—Voice and Non-Verbal
- HS.118 Opportunities for Influence
If you’d like more information, contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org.