Media still influence gardeners.
Ever since the late 1880s the media have been the greatest source of influence for gardeners.
By that time cheap paper and improved printing had made garden catalogs available in the millions. People across the country saw advertising for Quaker Oats, Ivory, and of course, Burpee’s seeds.
You probably heard the story about Martha Stewart’s hydrangea article which she wrote a while back for her magazine. The article featured stunning colored photos.
The day after the article appeared garden centers around the country sold out of hydrangeas. People wanted the plant they saw in the media, i.e. her magazine.
Now you can find online seven influencers for gardeners.
The company behind the listing is Right Relevance. It bills itself as the “quickest and simplest way to search and discover highly relevant deep topical content.”
Its goal is to “mine the social web to identify and rank topical influencers.”
Right Relevance trusts ‘influencer’ communities and searches for the most relevant online articles and conversations, the new media.
Those who influence gardeners today include Michael Pollan and Danielle Nierenberg. Among the influential organizations number the RHS and the National Trust.
The group of seven, according to Right Relevance, exhibit a considerable amount of influence on gardeners. They write about the current issues important to gardeners like growing your own food and taking care of the land.
For decades we have known that the media influence certain people, who in turn influence others to subscribe to new ideas, products and services they learn about in media.
Thus it is crucial to know who are the people who influence others so we can communicate with them about our product or idea.
This is an important way to understand how marketing and public relations operate in our society. This way of thinking about influencers is based on the theory called the two-step flow, as developed in the 1940s by sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld.
In gardening Right Relevance has simply taken the time to point out who are the opinion leaders in gardening. They influence gardeners through media like books and online writing.
To this day it is still the media that influence how we garden.
In 1891, at the start of media’s broad influence on us, the John Lewis Childs Company from Floral Park, New York provided this seed catalog cover, illustrating flowers the company called “New, Rare, and Beautiful.” Childs wanted to appeal to influencers of the day. [below]
Who, after all, wouldn’t want to grow these new plants?