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Monitoring and evaluation

Food risk and benefit communication is all around us, but rarely evaluated and monitored. Monitoring of online sources and effective methods for assessments of consumer perspectives are essential in modern communication practices.

 Social networking and information sharing tools have allowed Internet users to collaborate and produce content with ease. A lot of this content involves attitudes and opinions about food issues and the work of food agencies. Given the diversity of online information sources and the fact that everyone can talk about food, the scale and variety of monitoring can be quite overwhelming. It certainly is a context-dependent activity that requires certain degree of learning. Social media monitoring as a term has common grounds with practices known as social media analytics. The latter usually denotes techniques that are more sophisticated than the simple identification of online sources of interest.

In a society dominated by information, the stakes in obtaining and providing accurate information about food risks and benefits are higher than ever. Nowadays, the sheer volume of information and the speed with which it travels can have severe ramifications concerning the consequences of misinformation. Consequently, the ability to evaluate information as trustworthy has become a crucial skill for communicators. This ability is directly tied to the knowledge of research methods. Information that is the product of carefully conducted research is less likely to be in error, more deserving of attention and trust. As a communicator, it may be your understanding of research methods that will help you make critical decisions about how, when and what to communicate to consumers.

 

Following elements are discussed:

How to monitor online information sources for better understanding of the flow of information and perception of your organisation.

How to select and use effective methods for eliciting consumer perspectives on food risk/benefit issues, for different communication scenarios.