Harper Adams Forum: Jane Craigie
20 November 2012
By Harper Adams Forum Reporter, Greg Parkes
Jane Craigie of Jane Craigie Marketing visited the Harper Adams Forum Society on Thursday, November 15 and discussed ‘The power of the pen and of opinion, the changing world of communications.’
Ms Craigie works with various companies related to the agricultural sector including BASF, HGCA, Farmers Weekly, Agrovista, Hutchinsons and The Oxford Farming Conference.
She identified the reasons the media matters - it drives corporate and market value, fuels politics, empowers debate, and sells and builds careers. Media supports the agri-food industry by reporting news, presenting market data, transferring innovations in science in an understandable manner, and providing information on the supply chain.
While many journalists contribute to newspapers such as The Times, The Telegraph and The Mail, everyone can be their own journalist. The internet and social networking allows people to comment and put forward their own opinions with relative ease. While the information available via the internet may not be truly bona-fide, the readership of such sources is increasing while that of newspapers is decreasing.
Ms Craigie identified the reasons why communication is changing. 96% of the world’s under-30s use social networking sites and email is seen as old technology. The average person now spends 45% of their time awake absorbing some sort of media. People send four times more text messages per day than they sent in 2004 and are now relying on consumer reviews. Jane noted the constants in communication: Ideas, people, stories, opinion.
The media offers many opportunities for agriculture and associated industries including politics and lobbying, farming journalism, in-house communication and many more. Members of the agricultural community such as Adam Henson, George Lyon and Angharad Evans work within the media to highlight the great importance our industry plays.
Ms Craigie finished by indicating that journalism is an accessible career for all students. She suggested to take an internship, carry out training, but most of all “get yourself noticed” by undertaking a Nuffield scholarship, taking part in Young Farmers events, visiting the Oxford Farming Conference or by submitting articles to the press.