Local Foods, Sustainable Communities and Communications

sustainable foods, small regional farmsWell, this is going to be an eclectic conversation. That’s because this past week we had a joyous experience with foods and cultures of Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. It made me think of the benefits of slow, sustainable and local to any professional communications’ practice.

We ate in small communities and met a variety of regional farmers and independent small restaurateurs, each passionate about their cultures, small heritage gardens, and their impact on sustainable living. We started in Flagstaff, enjoying conversations and local squash, then discovered meats, pies and banter at our stop in Lee’s Ferry. We made our way to Boulder Utah, where intelligent and skilled young individuals have created a mighty sustainable slow foods platform in the form of Hells Backbone Grill and Farm.  From there we journeyed back home, by way of Monument Valley and Diné (Navajo) lands, where we tasted family-made blue corn mush, frybread and mutton soup. We delighted in conversations with gentle, wonderful people so proud of their land and their traditions.

Everywhere we turned during this adventure we saw a dedication to core elements of community sustainability — respect for native foods, folkarts, culture, natural environment and slow conversation.

As social media marketers of this 24/7 world, do we rush too much to get results as well as get the message across? Are aspects (and benefits) of the “slow conversation” lost?  We’re doomed if all we try to do is send out constant, manicured messages across digital platforms, and not consider opportunities for the face-to-face aspect of the communications process. Of course, we can’t possibly be in front of people all the time. Phone calls, email, print, posts and responding to comments- it’s all important in establishing and maintaining relationships. But do we take the time to plan and foster the face-to-face relationships in our communications process?

I know I’ll assess my constituency relations in light of a stronger one-to-one approach, whenever possible.

Sustainability Resources: Even in the digital world, it’s critical to be mindful of technology and a low-carbon lifestyle.

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