HOW DOES an entertainer entertain with no audience? With 2020’s new way of life, during a pandemic, JJ Harrison was forced to alter his way of connecting with the community. Covid-19 impacted human interaction drastically. Though it hampered many aspects of his job, JJ’s enthusiasm and charisma got a chance to shine. This was most evident on his social media platforms. From engaging people with his “daily tips on surviving a quarantine”, to 811 awareness videos featuring his kids, he kept his audience focused to see what his antics would produce next.
Families are having to adapt to this temporary way of life. One thing is for sure, having five kids to entertain as schools closed put this entertainer to the test! From attempting to provide haircuts to finding creative toilet paper alternatives, this guy has an answer for everything, and social media was there to broadcast it. With the positive responses JJ received, he immediately knew this was his best venue for informing our farming and ranching community of the importance in calling before digging. His 811 messages are recognizable to the western community through rodeo and anyone else that may cross his path. Whether presenting an anti-bullying assembly for schools or a keynote address to the agricultural industry, JJ’s message of safety continued to thrive.
Though 2021 came with adversities, JJ Harrison was more than ready to come back into the spotlight. Rodeo provides an amazing platform to reach a wide demographic, spreading the facts and importance of calling 811 to the live audiences was crucial. His social media platforms certainly prospered during 2020, but for this Rodeo Clown, nothing beats interacting directly with a live audience. What JJ wasn’t ready for however, was the large-scale reactions that came from those following his antics during the year of Covid. Many Rodeo attendees approached JJ with positive feedback to not only his performance at the show but rather his messages of safety online.
Rodeos all over the country were recording record-breaking audiences as people were eager to get back to a sense of normal life. As people emerged from their isolation, JJ and 811 partners strongly encouraged farmers and ranchers to remember the safe digging practices they used prior to the pandemic. With many of his events aired over the Cowboy Channel, he was able to broaden and increase the amount of people who heard our safe digging messages. Making a connection and interacting with the community is what JJ Harrison enjoys most and being able to provide his audience with helpful tools to make their lives safer is his goal.
Though 2020 was a challenge to us all, 2021 was the greatest comeback story for western sports. Harrison learned that though he was able to reach over 80,000 people in attendance during his rodeo season, there was a massive impact in connecting to viewers on every type of social media platform. What was very clear to all was the interest in learning how to be a more responsible property owner. One thing living in quarantine provided to our society was a chance to check up on all the home projects that were simply put off due to time constraints. Providing knowledge to his audience was JJ’s goal as to keep families and crews safe during this time. As a new year rapidly approached, JJ continues to promote the importance of 811. This has become his recognizable call number and people of all ages identify JJ Harrison as the 811 spokesman. As the platforms grow with opportunities of positive outreach, JJ will be there interacting and informing his audience of the benefits and safety in calling 811 every time and any time.