Q&A with Blogger Katie Pinke
Saturday, October 11, 2014
By: Katie Pinke
Q: Why do you blog?
A: I started blogging in 2007 at The Pinke Post with absolutely no strategy other than to share about my family. I thought my mom, grandma and sister would be my only readers. Once a year, I look back to remind myself of Why I Blog. Two of my three kids were “born on the blog.” I blog to document the joys and struggles of motherhood, including juggling a career, travel, job changes and now owning my consulting and speaking business. While sharing about my family is one of the reasons why I continue to blog, there are an array of other reasons. Blogging is a hobby as well as a discipline I enjoy because I love to write and document my photographs. I blog to share about food, the home-cooked recipes I prepare for my family and the farmers/ranchers who grow/raise our abundance of food. I blog to showcase my family’s farm, which my mom does more extensively at GriggsDakota. My transparency is intentional. In addition, my blog is read by Google and my photos are pinned on Pinterest, which helps drive traffic. My most popular blog in 2014 is about small-town sports, which is rewarding to see people connect to our rural life experience.
North Dakota Summer Sunset
Q: As a blogger, speaker, and communications consultant, why is effective communication so important?
A: Effective communication establishes relationships built on trust. The process of fostering trust is more than spouting off science and statistics; it means sharing about my family; the food I prepare them; the realities of juggling motherhood with marriage and a career; owning a small business; living on the prairie, 97 miles from a Starbuck’s; my faith; and our fifth generation North Dakota farm that includes four generations living and working the land.
Effective communication also means being mindful of the medium of communication, the topic at hand and the target audience. By doing so, you can create a stronger dialogue and level of engagement.
Q: How do you respond to inaccurate ag conversation online?
A: The inaccuracies in online ag conversations can serve as a distraction and an opportunity for women in agriculture. First, we can’t shout from the mountaintops that “they” are wrong and “we” are right. It will only create a wider divide. Second, reactive responses actually distract from the truth of the matter. It’s more effective to be proactive about sharing the truth, so when an inaccuracy tries to take a foothold, you have already shared the truth and can redirect the negative energy.
I focus on building relationships outside of agriculture. Then, when misinformation comes gushing, the connection is there to offer a personal touch coupled with science and statistics. If I already have a trusted relationship with the person or circle of people, then the issue is resolved in a timelier manner because I have the license to change the dialogue with less fanfare.
Q: Why do you care about educating the world about ag?
A: Agriculture is a part of my fabric. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with agriculture until my early 20s when I finally realized it was one of my deepest passions. My livelihood revolves around education and outreach to connect people back to farming and ranching. I want a sixth generation to make a living on our family farm—and I want every farm and ranch to have that opportunity. But it won’t happen if we don’t connect with outside audiences—in our backyard, on Capitol Hill and around the world. Women in agriculture are a key component to encourage conversations about agriculture, and I am grateful to be a part of the effort.
The Pinke Family - Wishek, North Dakota
About Katie Pinke:
For Katie Pinke, social media is a catalyst to engage, enlighten and empower. From a reflex tweet to a gritty blog post with a mesmerizing sunset snapshot in between, she seizes every opportunity to talk about family, food, farm life and community. After 12-plus years on the marketing fast track, she ventured out on her own in 2013 as a strategic communications consultant and speaker in order to be a more at-home wife and mom. Starbucks might be 97 miles away but there’s a whole world at her prairie doorstep thanks to social media. Katie resides in Wishek, N.D., with her husband, Nathan, and their three children. Connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and her blog, The Pinke Post.