Chuck Zimmerman

Guest Speakers in PR Class Rock

1. How has agriculture communication/journalism changed over the course of Chuck’s career?

Chuck Zimmerman graduated with a degree in journalism and went to work for a major broadcasting company, Brownfield Network. At that time radio was one of the best ways to get information in the agriculture community, however now years later there are many different media outlets and radio isn’t the only way to share information. Nine years ago Chuck and his wife Cindy left the Brownfield company with a plan that to some then and even know think is crazy! They left to start a business that focuses on relaying information through social media and networking. Their business is called Ag Wired and is one of the most widely know sources to get farm reports, interviews,  and coverage over AGRICULTURAL conventions.

The journalism and communication world has changed drastically! Now because of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the Vine and other social media channels people are able to and want information NOW, or WHILE it is happening. This is instant coverage, and this is why Zimmerman’s Ag Wired is so successful. They are able to get reports out and interviews recorded and put online before some newspapers have even started their editing process.

2. How did he embrace those changes to create a new ag business?

Zimmerman embraced this new social world because he saw an opportunity that others weren’t willing to take the risk for. His business has 4 main web publications, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a YouTube Channel and a Flicker.

Not only has he made his company successful but as another way to generate revenue Zimmerman helps teach companies and business how to become relevant online as well. He shows them the reasons why they need to be there (online).

3. Looking into the future, do you see the role of agriculture communications/journalism changing or staying the same. If so, what changes do you anticipate?

I see it changing for sure! Everything has to change at some point, this is how our country keeps moving forward, we embrace changes and we become more efficient. The biggest change I see coming IS the presence of agricultural companies and business online. This industry is under constant attack and scrutiny. Farmers  have to be online to stay up with legislation and news, political leaders in the agriculture world need to be online to see the issues and to learn about the people and agricultural companies and businesses need to be online so that they can show their support and can reach their customers.

 

Thanks Chuck Zimmerman for making time to speak to our agricultural public relations class!

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Thank you FARMnWIFE

Lessons Learned 

A big thank you to Judi Graff, also know as FARMnWIFE, for speaking to my Agriculture Public Relations class yesterday!

For those of you who do not know about FARMnWIFE I really encourage you to check out her blog! It has a ton of helpful hints about how to blog and also includes her personal farm stories.

FARMnWIFE Blog

My assignment this week for class is to blog about the top 3 most helpful/interesting things Judi Graff taught us. So here we go…

1) An interesting thing I learned was how and why FARMnWIFE got started and why she is continuing to blog.

– Judi started her blog because she wanted to share pictures of her children showing animals at their county fair for 4H.

– Judi believes in preserving the story of her farm so that her children and grandchildren will know all the struggles the family farm has overcome. (Judi Graff was not born or raised on a farm, she married into farming)

-Judi continues to blog now because she wants to help others record the stories of their farms and also she helps agriculture businesses become more successful by using a blog. She also continues to preserve her own story.

2) A great tool FARMnWIFE taught our class about was how to create a contact page.

-This is a REALLY great tool for an agriculture business because the contact page allows the customers to get in touch with the company and ask questions they might not be comfortable asking online. ALSO this allows bloggers to see that there is a person behind the blog who is willing to build connections with customers and potential customers.

– I chose not to put a contact page on my blog just for the simple fact that I am  just telling a story. I am not in an official position therefore I will stay online and present to create conversations on my blog.

3) I LEARNED WHAT A GRAVITAR WAS!!

– Just a simple picture and a short about me was something I added after learning how and why I should from FARMnWIFE.

– I love this because now those who visit my blog can see ME right on the top of the page. Everyone can see  atypicalaggie really is real!!

Farming Video- Hangman Style

Farming Hangman

 

 

This video was part of an assignment for my agriculture public relations class. Our job was to create an impromptu, three minute video on why farming is important. I know it is a little rough, but the facts are what’s important. Enjoy!

5 Fun Facts

Guest Speakers Present on Social Media  

On February 6, during my agriculture public relations class we got an inside look in how social media is affecting today’s business world. The two guest speakers we had the privilege of hosting were Lynzee Glass, managing editor for Ozarks Farm & Neighbor and Christy Diebold from Springfield Leather Company.

Ozarks Farm & Neighbor

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1. The Ozarks Farm & Neighbor is a farm newspaper that is trying to survive in a wireless world . They decided that in order to continue their success they would have to make an appearance on the web and ultimately joined Facebook. The main reasons they joined Facebook were to reach younger audiences, keep their name out there, and the perks of getting immediate feedback.

2. The biggest challenge for the newspaper has been incorporating social media into the publication as well as on their webpage. It has been a struggle to try and find ways to get Facebook users to the Ozark Farm & Neighbor website so they could generate income.

3. A surprising fact was that the newspaper had been on Facebook since 2009 but in that year the staff had only posted four times. It wasn’t until Lynzee Glass saw the potential and the need for using Facebook constructively that the newspaper was able to generate almost 1,000 Likes.

Springfield Leather Company

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Christy Diebold is actually a teachers assistance for my Ag PR class and gave a presentation on what she was able to do for her company with the skills she learned from this class.

4. A fun fact about the Springfield Leather Company is they have a dog friendly store and usually have 5 Chihuahuas running around.

5. Also something very neat about the Springfield Leather Company is it is family owned and operated.

Both of these businesses are operated by hard working agriculturists! Please visit their websites and Like them on Facebook if you find the time.

 

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