Enhancing the Social Media Marketing of Agri-Tourism by Farmers in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines and the Development of the Hellical Model of Participatory Communication Action Research

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Jennyline S. Tabangcura Christine Grace S. Fuchigami


Agri-tourism is a sustainable and growing industry in the  Philippines that could further be enhanced thru social media,  a low-cost marketing tool with a global reach. To maximize social  media for agri-tourism, there is a need first to gather baseline  information as basis for enhancement. This study assessed the  capacity of 26 La Trinidad farmers on using social media to  promote their farms as agri-tourism sites. The study employed  the Participatory Communication Research Action (PCRA)  Model. Results from community consultations, ocular surveys,  key informant interviews, and document reviews revealed  that the study areas have natural characteristics and enough  resources to support agri-tourism. However, the farmers  needed further assistance in addressing the issues that come  with these characteristics and resources. The assessment test  showed that the respondents have a moderate level of social  media marketing (SMM) skills, knowledge, and traits. Thus, the  study conducted a seminar on SMM where the participants were guided to develop SMM plans for their own farms.  Additionally, the study was able to assess the PCRA Model  and found it to be far more flexible than originally thought.  Thus, the study crafted a more coherent PCRA model,  namely the Model of Participatory Communication towards  Self-management,      from combining the          lessons   learned  from this study and the strength of Dance’s Helix Model of  communication.  The study recommends that government or  non-government extension efforts may look into further  addressing the needed additional SMM knowledge, skills, and  traits of the respondents as well as possible capacity building  activities on product development. Future studies could look  into the progress of the SMM plans developed by the respondents  to  find  out  how  the  respondents  could  be  further  assisted

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