RealAg LIVE! with Christina Crowley-Arklie on the mainstream perception of agriculture


How did one tweet change an entire conversation surrounding butter in this country? What role did social media play in this thing called #buttergate? What can we, as an industry, learn from one consumer-facing issue that literally went around the world?

Guest host Lyndsey Smith is joined by digital media strategist Christina Crowley-Arklie for today’s RealAg LIVE!

RealAg LIVE! streams every weekday at 3 pm E on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter!


  • Public perception
  • Why is my butter hardening? We lost sight of the original question.
  • #Buttergate
  • This conversation is NOT done yet.
  • Is this the future of how food policy in Canada is going to be shaped?
  • Was this a setup? Or was there really meat here?
  • There have been a lot of assumptions going around. The positives? It did bring up some conversation about food.
  • How do you balance opinion versus research and communicate this to audiences?
  • Social media started this whole conversation — and from there, the narrative just took off. Especially when it comes to palm oil, palmitic acid, and palm by-products
  • Broken social contract? That’s a fabrication, says host Lyndsey
  • How do we as communicators know when these online narratives are something worth jumping on? This is why PR companies and crisis management people gets paid the big bucks!
  • Transparency — how much do you share? Where do you draw the line in the sand?
  • The turnaround time on some of these things isn’t always great
  • How do we encourage people to pay attention to the experts, and not just opinions?
  • We can’t blame one person for sparking a conversation
  • Andrew Campbell was one that jumped on this in a great way — educating, and being transparent. We need more of that in this industry
  • How available are we to answer a question when one comes up?
  • Let’s remember that not everything in the social space is factual answers. Sometimes, we just have to wait.
  • You can have the best policies, but if you can’t communicate them, it doesn’t matter. Communication is everything.
  • The divisiveness that started coming out during all of #buttergate was not professional. We need to do better as an industry.
  • Harassment is not the way to go when you disagree with someone
  • It’s not always the issue at hand, it’s how you respond to the issue at hand
  • “A journey to an opinion.”
  • Advocates should try to be media trained if they can. That’s a big thing
  • Try to put yourselves in the shoes of the consumers
  • Good crisis management is trying to answer the questions before they are even asked
  • If researchers and academia are able to build the trust with social media, then are they worth being trusted?
  • We have a connection with everyone, because everyone eats!
  • In a court of public opinion, the public always wins.


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