Mass_Media_Sustaining_Pollinators

Introduction

From January 2017 to October 2019, we narrowed our focus to pollinator protection by ensuring our topic was timely and seasonal, developed our messaging strategy, and built the capacity and financial resources to bring a campaign to life.

Pollinators are fundamental to our economy, food security, environment, and health. According to the USDA, honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year. Protecting bees and other insect pollinators, birds, and bats today ensures we eat tomorrow. The National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) has been supporting pollinator health since 2017, primarily by providing education and training materials to Extension programs that teach pesticide applicators how to minimize the risk that pesticides pose to pollinators. Over the last three years, NPSEC has taken its mission to be a premier provider of pollinator protection information to a new, more visible level. Leveraging our unique relationships with several private media companies, we created an opportunity for the Cooperative Extension program at Prairie View A&M University to share its pollinator stewardship research and best practices with a consumer audience in a mass media campaign in Texas. Commercial media isn’t typically an option for Extension programs. It’s usually expensive and requires business connections that Extension agents are unlikely to have. As a result of its Pollinator Stewardship Pilot, NPSEC and its media partners have demonstrated how robust market research and mass media can be accessible to and affordable for Extension Service programs.

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