Communication Strategies Used in Fisheries and Wildlife Extension in the Southeast

Representing the land grant institutions, extension fisheries and wildlife specialists contribute to management of fish and wildlife resources through education. In a telephone survey, 17 state specialists ranked their audiences by time spent working with each and ranked 10 communication methods by frequency of use in reaching each audience. In order of priority, the audiences served were extension agents, commercial interests, private landowners, youth, general public, faculty and students, natural resource agencies, and conservation organizations. The most frequently used communication means was the telephone call. Other heavily-used methods were personal letters, extension publications, on-site visits, workshops, and conferences. Least used were magazine articles and research publications. Moderate use was reported for newsletters, and radio and television programs. Although extension specialists communicated more frequently and by more personal methods with high priority audiences, no audience was neglected. Consistency in audience and communication rankings by specialists supports the concept that extension specialist communication strategies are similar from state to state, even though administrative styles of state cooperative extension services vary greatly. Extension specialist programs and state fish and wildlife agency programs should be complimentary and should be enhanced by cooperative agreements.

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