Worley, B., Peake, J., & Fuhrman, N. (2022). Perceptions of agricultural extension and communication professionals regarding current, preferred, and emerging communication channels: A qualitative study. Journal of Agricultural Education, 63(4), 22-38. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2022.04022


This study sought to identify what messages are important to share regarding innovations of new turfgrass cultivars, and to determine the current, preferred, and emerging channels of communication as perceived by Extension/Outreach and Communications professionals in ANR for sending information. This study utilized a focus group consisting of turfgrass extension professionals, an interview with communication professionals, and individual semi-structured interviews. From the twelve questions presented through these methods, seven predominant themes emerged.  Effectively communicating about turfgrass involves: (1) conveying long-term benefits of the innovations, (2) considering the sender and receiver of turfgrass information, (3) considering the traditional communication channels used for turfgrass, (4) emerging or sought channels for communicating with clientele about turfgrass, (5) barriers to adopting communication channels for disseminating turfgrass information, (6) factors that influence use of communication channels for turfgrass, and (7) who should be disseminating the identified messages. Respondents indicated that though Twitter was the preferred channel of social media communication for those in the turfgrass industry, interpersonal communication and factsheets were still being requested predominately by their clientele. Respondents recommended working with organizations such as city and county municipalities, as well as residential home builder groups, that are likely to adopt innovations, influence behavior change, and create and institute policies, will be essential for dissemination of information. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions associated with it, researchers are depending on emerging communications channels for dissemination of information more so than traditional methods utilized in the past such as field days

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